Frequently Asked Questions

What injuries, diseases or illnesses are covered by workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania?

Generally, injuries, illnesses and diseases caused by your work are covered from the first day of employment. Any employee who was injured in the state of Pennsylvania is covered under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, and it doesn’t matter if your job is part-time or seasonal in nature. The majority of all injuries and illnesses caused by a work-related accident or a condition are covered under Pennsylvania workers' compensation. You may request workers' compensation payments even if you are at fault for your work injury.

If you feel skeptical about your injury or illness, do not think twice. The Workers’ Compensation Act applies to ALL injuries or occupational diseases occurring during the course and scope of employment and which are related to that employment.

What if I have a pre-existing condition?

The Act applies even if you have a pre-existing condition, such as a bad bad or heart condition which you aggravate, accelerate, or make worse over the course of your employment. You are entitled to collect workers’ compensation benefits from your present employer even if your employer tries to debate it. If you can prove that your injury is work-related, you could request workers' compensation payments. Jobs that require repetitive motions to perform them can cause carpal tunnel syndrome and other disorders.

Who is responsible for providing workers’ compensation benefits?

Your employer is required by law to provide workers' compensation coverage to their employees. Those who are self-employed may be rare exceptions to this law. Just as it's required by law to have car insurance yet many drivers are still uninsured, employers are required to have workers' compensation coverage yet some neglect to carry it.

When Does My Employer Have to Start Paying My Workers' Comp Benefits?

Under the Workers' Compensation Act, an employer and its insurance company have 21 days after they receive notice of the injury to either agree that an injury is work-related (and issue a Notice of Compensation Payable or Notice of Temporary Compensation Payable) or to deny the claim (and issue a Notice of Compensation Denial). Before you can receive wage losses, there must be medical proof from a doctor confirming your injuries and whether you can return to work or there are any restrictions on the type of work you can do. Most insurance companies mail checks every other week to injured workers, although a few pay wage loss benefits weekly.

What isn’t covered under workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania?

Sometimes, limitations may apply to lung diseases. Self-inflicted injuries or those caused by intoxication or violation of the law including the use of illegal drugs are not covered under workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania. However, repetitive trauma or overuse injuries (such as carpal tunnel from excessive computer use) are covered by workers’ compensation. Can I receive payments if a previous injury was aggravated on my current job?

It depends on whether the aggravation is a new injury or a recurrence of the old injury. If your medical records show that you have a new injury and that it was related to your current job, you would be able to receive workers' compensation payments.

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