Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits and rules are outlined in the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act, enacted in 1915. Under these Pennsylvania workers' compensation laws, most workers in the state are protected by insurance and most employers are required to carry this form of coverage for their employees.
Pennsylvania workers’ comp laws were created to protect Pennsylvania workers from the effects of workplace-related illnesses and injuries. Wage-loss compensation benefits help supplement a workers’ income until he or she is able to return to work, and medical insurance is also covered by workers’ compensation in the event of a workplace accident. In the event of a fatal workplace accident, dependents may be eligible for death benefits.
In 2015, Pennsylvania:
- Worked to stop employers who failed to insure their workers. In 2015, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation launched 1,077 new investigations of employers who potentially may have failed to secure workers’ compensation coverage as required by law. Thirty of these cases were referred to the Legal Division of the Bureau and four were prosecuted. Employers paid $196,682.66 in restitution in 2015.
- Saw a lower number of inquiries about workers’ compensation benefits. In 2014, the Claims Management Division of the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation received over 45,000 inquiries related to the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system. In 2015, that number had declined to 41,942.
- Experienced longer wait times for employers seeking dispute resolution. The Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Office of Adjudication reported that the average time to hear and decide cases in dispute was 6.5 months in 2014 and 6.7 months, on average, in 2015.
- Saw slightly declining rates of disputes in workers’ compensation cases. In 2010, 46,916 workers’ compensation petitions had been assigned to judges by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. By 2012, that number had increased to 47,365, but by 2015 had declined to 45,698.
- Experienced declining numbers of reported worker injury overall. In 2015, 166,102 work illnesses and injuries were reported to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. In 2014, about 11,000 more cases were reported.
- Saw fewer work-related injuries. In 2014, the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation reported 75 workplace fatalities, compared to 65 in 2015.
Navigating the Pennsylvania workers' comp system can be challenging, especially if you don’t have a legal background. If you have been injured and would like professional legal support, contact My Comp Lawyers for a consultation. Our focus is on workers’ compensation law, and we provide a free consultation to new clients.