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How Workers’ Compensation Payments Work

A person is handed a check as part of their workers' compensation payments

After a work-related injury, one of your main concerns is likely when and how you will receive payments. When you’re represented by a skilled and compassionate workers’ compensation attorney, he or she will make sure you are kept in the loop throughout the entire process. Understanding how workers’ compensation payments work can help to relieve some of your stress. 

Georgelis Injury Law Firm attorneys break down some of the most frequently asked questions about workers’ compensation payments for their clients everyday, including the following. 

Will Workers’ Compensation Pay My Full Salary?

Unfortunately, no. Workers’ compensation insurance provides benefits to employees who become injured while on the job. These benefits can include payments for medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation or other costs related to the injury or illness. 

When you are out due to a work-related injury, the money you are paid comes from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier or from the Employer directly if they are self-insured. The amount you are paid is determined using a workers’ compensation formula that calculates your compensation rate based on an average of your earnings before the accident. 

Typically in Pennsylvania, employees out on workers’ compensation can expect to receive 60-70% of their salary. However, the trade off is that taxes will not be withheld from your workers’ compensation checks.

How Do I Get Payments When I’m on Workers’ Comp?

When you are out of work as a result of a work-related injury, the payments you receive, in most cases, will be coming from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier.

In accordance with the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, the insurance company is required to pay you at the same frequency as you previously received a paycheck – whether that was biweekly, weekly, or monthly. You should receive a workers’ compensation check as often as you previously received a paycheck from your employer.

In order to start getting paid, the insurance company needs to gather your wage information, so it’s important to keep your pay stubs handy to provide to your attorney and/or the insurance company. This can sometimes be a point of contention, where the employer’s insurance company wants to say that you worked less than perhaps you did during the year before your injury – so this is where an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can really help you. 

Can My Workers’ Compensation Benefits Be Cut Off?

If you are out of work with a legitimate workers’ compensation case, and are following the directives of the medical professional who is treating your injury, you would think that there would be no reason for your payments to stop. The reality is that once your claim is accepted the insurance company and/or your Employer will take steps to limit their liability by coming up with a reason to deny and/or stop your benefits. If the insurance company and/or your Employer has scheduled an IME (independent medical examination) or made you a light duty job offer you should contact an attorney immediately to discuss your options. 

How Long Will it Take to Get a Workers’ Compensation Settlement?

How long it takes for a workers’ compensation claim to settle depends on the case, the nature of the injury, treatment involved and the willingness of the employer’s insurance company to negotiate. No matter how long your claim is open, though, you should never have to pay out of pocket for any healthcare expenses or treatment associated with your injury. Payments for lost wages, additionally, should start approximately two weeks after the reported injury.

Working with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can make a difference in whether or not you receive a full and fair settlement for your injury. An attorney who knows how to negotiate with your employer’s insurance company and navigate through the process will greatly benefit you in the long run and may mean a quicker settlement for you. It’s important to be patient though, as your lawyer works to get you the best possible award. 

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