Act 111 – New Change in the Workers’ Compensation Law
As you know, workers’ compensation benefits are available for all employees in Pennsylvania. The benefits pay for wage loss and medical benefits for any work-related injury and is a no-fault law, so any injury or aggravation of a pre-existing condition, even if the aggravated condition is non-work related, is covered. Also, benefits for scars and loss of use of fingers, limbs and functional loss are covered through payment of a lump sum.
The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act is a state statute and can be changed by our elected officials. As such, in the fall of 2018, Act 111 changed the law in regard to how injured workers on workers’ compensation benefits will be treated. After two years of receiving workers’ compensation, an Impairment Rating Evaluation can be requested by the employer which will determine how long an injured worker will receive benefits. The percentage of impairment in Act 111 dictates how long an injured worker will receive benefits. So, if an impairment is equal to or greater than 35%, the benefits will continue without a firm end date and if less than 35%, benefits will be limited to 500 weeks and then end. That is a little over five years and not very long for a person who may be unable to perform his or her time of injury job. The law used to use 50% as the percentage to determine this cut off, but Act 111 has changed this.
Act 111 also changed the amount of burial expenses in a fatal workers’ compensation case. The law previously paid $3,000 and now will pay $7,000. This is a long overdue change.
Despite these changes, there are many aspects of the Workers’ Compensation Act which are not particularly favorable to injured workers. Often, litigation is necessary to secure the benefits that workers should just automatically receive. Unfortunately, employers and insurance companies regularly deny these benefits or make it very difficult for injured workers to recover and return to work. Instead they put pressure on the worker who is injured, financially and otherwise.
If you need assistance enforcing the law in order to receive the benefits you deserve, please do not hesitate to contact our office for help.
If you have any questions about any type of injury, please feel free to contact Attorney Signe Rudberg or Don Rudberg, Coordinator at RUDBERG LAW OFFICES, toll free at 1.866.306.2667 or email at [email protected]
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