What types of benefits does workers’ compensation provide?
Employees who are involved in workplace accidents or develop occupational conditions may be entitled to workers’ compensation.
Although many Pennsylvania employers work hard to provide a safe working environment for their employees, a number of workers are injured in on-the-job accidents. Some workers may develop medical conditions or chronic illnesses, such as lung cancer, back problems, carpal tunnel syndrome or asthma, due to consistent exposure of occupational conditions. For example, workers who are required to lift heavy objects on a regular basis may develop back problems over time. Serious injuries and conditions can make it difficult or even impossible for workers to return to their job. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, workers' compensation is designed to provide financial assistance to people who suffer from these types of injuries.
Injured workers are entitled to several types of workers' compensation benefits depending on the circumstances surrounding their particular case. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry reported that injured employees who are eligible for workers' compensation may qualify for the following benefits.
According to Pennsylvania state legislation, employers are required to pay for medical costs associated with a work injury or occupational condition. Workers are given a list of covered physicians to choose from. In addition to covering doctors' appointments, workers' compensation covers:
- Prescription medication
- Medical supplies and equipment
- Physical therapy and any other types of treatment necessary for the injury
- Orthopedic appliances
Workers should keep in mind that if they choose to see their personal doctor and not one that is listed by the employer, the medical expenses may not be covered.
While some employees may be able to return to work immediately following treatment for their injuries, others may have to take some time off of work. Depending on the type of injury and its severity, workers may be reimbursed for up to 500 weeks of lost wages with partial disability benefits. Workers do not get their full wages, but rather two-thirds of their average weekly wages.
Specific loss benefits
Employees who have a permanent disability, disfigurement or have lost a body part in a workplace accident may receive a specific loss benefit. The amount of this benefit, as well as the period of time that it will be paid, depends on the body part affected, according to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act.
When to involve an attorney
It can be difficult to deal with workers' compensation issues, especially when you are injured or suffering from a debilitating condition. Partnering with an attorney in Pennsylvania may help to ensure that you get all of the benefits that you are entitled to.