This page provides answers to the following questions:
If you are injured at work or become diagnosed with a disease or illness that is work-related, you should report the injury or illness as soon as possible. Timeliness is essential to the filing process, as well as documentation and record keeping. Tell your employer when and how you were injured. If, as a result of your work related injury or illness, you miss a day of work, your employer is required to file a first report of injury with the Bureau of Workers' Compensation.
Almost all Pennsylvania workers are covered by the state's workers' compensation law. Each employer must provide workers' compensation coverage (i.e. insurance) for all of their employees, whether full, part-time, or seasonal.
If you are injured while at work or the work you perform or the conditions of your place of work cause you a disease or illness, you may be entitled to claim workers' compensation benefits in Pennsylvania. However, injuries or illnesses intentionally self-inflicted, caused by a violation of state and/or federal law, or by intoxication will prohibit you from claiming benefits.
Depending on the nature of your claim and the extent of your injury or illness, you may be entitled to receive one or more of the following benefits:
If your injury or illness reaches the extent of perhaps needing to file a workers' compensation claim, your employer must decide upon the filing of a first report of injury form whether to accept or deny the claim (i.e. whether to accept responsibility for the event). If your employer denies responsibility for the claim, you may petition the denial to the Bureau of Workers' Compensation to be heard before a Workers' Compensation judge.
It is important to remember that these petitions can sometimes be costly and/or lengthy in time. You may even choose to hire an attorney, which could mean greater costs. Alternative dispute resolution, which resembles a mediation, could be a great option for you or the opposing party. In this scenario, a workers' compensation judge will help to work through the issues between you and the opposing party with hopes of reaching a settlement and avoiding the petition stage. To request alternative dispute resolution, you must file a petition with the Office of Adjudication of the Workers' Compensation Bureau.
Decisions made by the Bureau of Workers' Compensation judges may be appealed to the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board. If you or your employer continue to be unsatisfied with the determination, you may subsequently appeal the determination to the Commonwealth Court.
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