What is included in workers’ compensation benefits?

Workers’ compensation benefits protect you if you suffer a work-related injury or illness. They can also provide your beneficiaries with benefits if you pass away from a work-related cause.

The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Disease Act requires employers to provide workers’ compensation insurance, with only a few exceptions. But what exactly do you receive?

Lost wages and medical expenses

Workers’ compensation provides you with many types of benefits. You receive a weekly wage to cover your lost wages.

Additionally, workers’ compensation benefits cover the health care expenses from your injury. This includes doctor visits, lab tests, medical equipment or surgeries you may need to undergo.

The benefits also cover the cost of future or ongoing care, such as physical therapy or rehabilitation costs.

Partial and total disability

You might get to a point where you can work part-time but cannot return to your job at full capacity. You may still be entitled to receive partial disability payments to make up the difference.

If you are deemed totally disabled and unable to return to work at all, you might receive total disability payments. These are intended to be permanent unless you do go back to work one day.

Another type of permanent workers’ compensation payment compensates for the loss of a body part. You could receive a permanent injury payment based on this loss even if you are able to return to work.

Important rights and requirements

Workers’ compensation benefits start on the first day of your employment, regardless of any previous physical conditions. An employer cannot use a prior condition as a reason to deny your workers’ compensation benefits.

However, you must report your injury or illness to your employer within 120 days to qualify for workers’ compensation. Your employer then reports the injury or illness to their insurance company.

If you are denied workers’ compensation benefits, you have appeal rights. It is important to learn about these rights and your options.