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In The News: PA Workers Comp Update 6/20/17

 HOW LONG CAN I GET WORKERS’ COMPENSATION BENEFITS IN PA.? 

AN UPDATE

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION: PENNSYLVANIA SUPREME COURT ISSUES LANDMARK DECISION IN            PROTZ V. WCAB (DERRY AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT)

On June 20, 2017, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared that Section 306(a.2) of the Pa. Workers’ Compensation Act (the Act) was unconstitutional. Previously, since passage of revisions to the Act in 1996, an employer could have an injured worker evaluated by an independent medical examiner to determine his or her percentage of impairment directly resulting from a work injury. This was known as an Impairment Rating Evaluation (IRE). The injured worker must have received 104 weeks of total disability benefits prior to the IRE being requested. Once requested and scheduled, the IRE medical examiner was asked to utilize the American Medical Association (AMA) Guidelines for Impairment 4th Edition. If the IRE rating was equal to or greater than 50 percent, then an injured worker was presumed to be totally disabled. An injured worker was considered partially disabled if he or she had a total impairment rating of less-than 50 percent and the injured worker’s benefits were resultantly limited to the statutory 500-week partial disability time period. The AMA guidelines almost always found an injured worker less-than 50 percent disabled.

Should I Try to Work After a Work-Related Injury?

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Often, after receiving work-related injury, the injured person will try to work through the pain. Workers often do this for a number of reasons, some of which include fear of being judged by their coworkers as well as the fear of angering their employer. This is NEVER a good idea. This could not only damage your chances of receiving Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits, but it could also cause serious health problems.

 

Trying to work through an injury can cause the injury to worsen, leading to a longer recovery period and, in more serious cases, permanent consequences. If you receive any type of work-related injury, you should stop working immediately and be examined by a medical professional. Only when a doctor gives you the go-ahead to keep working is it safe to do so.

 

Working through an injury can also damage a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation claim. Even if you try just for a few seconds or a few minutes and decide the pain is just too much, an onlooker may try to accuse you of faking. Many employers will do anything they possibly can to get out of covering a work-related injury. Don’t give them anything to work with.

 

If you have received a work related injury and live in the Harrisburg, Reading, or York area, contact PAWorkersCompHelpNow for a FREE consultation. Call (717) 234-2402 or send us a message. Don’t miss out on the benefits you are entitled to.

 

We proudly serve Cumberland, Dauphin, and Delaware county, as well as all other areas in Pennsylvania.