Under Pennsylvania law, and under the right set of circumstances (which we will explain) it is legal to collect both workers’ compensation and unemployment benefits at the same time.
First let us take a quick look at both programs. Workers’ compensation is a state program that is designed to provide partial wage-replacement benefits and medical expenses to injured workers who are out of work while their injury heals and because they are temporarily disabled. Unemployment benefits are also a state program designed to provide a temporary income to those who have lost their job, but who are also actively seeking a new job, and who are ready and able to work.
Given that both are state funded programs, you will not be permitted to double dip, as it were, and collect benefits from both. Pennsylvania law (34 Pa. Code § 123.6) requires that workers’ compensation benefits be offset by the net amount that the employee receives in unemployment compensation. So it is clear that you will not really benefit from drawing on both benefits at the same time because the amount received from one program is offset by whatever you are being paid by the other.
If you have the ability to perform some light duty work tasks, but your current employer does not have a position available at the time, you may be able apply for unemployment, bearing in mind that your employer has the option to challenge your unemployment benefits award.
While technically you can receive both workers’ compensation and unemployment compensation at the same time, here is why you might want to rethink that idea. Unemployment benefits are taxable income, and they will eventually run out. Once you start receiving the worker’s compensation benefits you may want to end the unemployment benefits.
If you are facing a dispute with regard to your workers’ compensation claim where you must appeal a denial or any other obstacle to your receiving benefits, you are welcome to contact one of the experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorneys at the law offices of Larry Pitt & Associates.
If you or your loved one was injured on the job and you have questions about your workers’ compensation claim, the Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorneys at Larry Pitt & Associates can help. You are welcome to contact us or call 888-PITT-LAW to schedule an appointment at any of our office locations serving Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties. We can help.