Some Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp Basics: Partial Disability

If a Pennsylvanians worker suffers a “work injury,” she is entitled to receive benefits under Pennsylvania law, specifically, the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. There are various types of benefits under the Act, including weekly disability income benefits, medical treatment, and death benefits for survivors of workers killed in the workplace. The entire body of Pennsylvania law that applies to workers’ compensation, including the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act is vast and complex. Experienced legal counsel can make a difference for applicants when filing a claim under Commonwealth law.

Partial Disability benefits are paid when an employee returns to work or is medically able to perform currently available work as determined by an agreement or court decision, but at a earnings rate lower than the worker’s earnings rate prior to the injury.

The maximum payment period of an injury resulting in a partial disability is 500 weeks, which do not have to be consecutive. Payments may be spread over a longer period of time, but the total number of weeks must equal 500. The employee is compensated at a rate that is two-thirds of the difference between the employee’s average weekly wage, and the employee’s average weekly wage following the return to work. An employee may not receive more in compensation plus wages than she would have earned prior to any injury.

Specific-Loss benefits are paid if a work-related injury results in loss of vision and or hearing, as well as the loss of use of limbs or parts of limbs. Specific loss benefits are paid without any consideration for the amount of time lost from work or whether the employee returns to work.

Disfigurement benefits, of which there are no set payment amounts, are paid if there is a serious, permanent, unsightly disfigurement to the head, face or neck area. The benefits range from 1 week to a maximum of 275 weeks.

Death benefits are available to the employee’s dependents if a work-related injury or disease contributes to or causes the employee’s death. Also, reasonable burial expenses are payable up to $3,000.00 dollars. Death benefits are available to the surviving spouse if the spouse lived with the employee at the time of death and was financially dependent on the deceased worker. They are also available to dependent children under the age of 18 and full-time students may receive benefits until the age of 23. There is no age limit if the child is a disabled dependent.

A spouse is entitled to 51 percent of the employee’s average wage as of the date of injury or disease. A spouse with one dependent is eligible for 60 percent, and with two or more dependent children, 66 2/3 percent. Payments cannot exceed the statewide average weekly wage.

Our attorneys prioritize making our clients feel comfortable and stress-free throughout the application process. This is accomplished by our focus on providing clients with all of the necessary information to understand the pertinent issues that exist in a workers’ compensation case. Powell Law’s unsurpassed qualifications make it an obvious choice for representation in a workers’ compensation case in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area. Contact Powell Law at call (570) 961-0777. The consultation is FREE.


Some Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp Basics: Partial Disability

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