You’ve been injured on the job. You’re out of work. You have many doctor appointments and physical therapy. You have no idea when you will be able to return to your job. The pressure is on – from your employer, from yourself – to get back to what you were doing. This is a lot to handle. Now, you’re wondering how much workers’ compensation you’re entitled to collect. What are your weekly benefits? What are your maximum compensation benefits? This article will answer those questions and direct you to an experienced Philly workers’ comp attorney. First things first, though – let’s briefly recap what workers’ compensation is as a right for workers.
What is PA Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Before delving into the time limitations to file a claim for benefits, let’s go over the rights you have for compensation under Pennsylvania law. If you have been injured at work in Philadelphia, you may be entitled to Workers’ Comp benefits. Pennsylvania law requires virtually all employers to purchase and maintain Workers’ Compensation Insurance. These workers’ compensation benefits are designed to ensure injured workers are financially compensated for their medical bills and related economic losses after being harmed in workplace accidents including personal injury, occupational diseases, occupational illness, and work-related illness so long as there is medical evidence to prove the injury is work-related.
Workers’ compensation covers the cost of medical care for workplace injuries and occupational diseases. That includes everything from carpal tunnel syndrome to back injuries and black lung disease. It also provides partial wage replacement while the employee is unable to work.
Workers’ comp benefits in Pennsylvania may include:
- Medical benefits, including hospitalization, prescriptions, and orthopedic appliances
- Wage loss benefits (usually receive two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage)
- Partial disability benefits (if the employee earns lower wages after the injury occurred)
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Death benefits, if a work-related injury or illness results in death
An Overview of PA Workers’ Compensation Rates
Pennsylvania workers’ compensation rates change every year. The amount you may be eligible to receive depends on the type and severity of the workplace injury you suffered. Generally, Pennsylvania workers’ compensation rates provide two-thirds of your average weekly wage up to a maximum amount.
Pursuant to the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law, the statewide average weekly wage for injuries occurring on and after January 1, 2022, shall be $1,205.00 per week. For purposes of calculating the update to payments for medical treatment rendered on or after January 1, 2022, the percentage increase in the Statewide average weekly wage is 6.6 percent.
Every year Pennsylvania updates the maximum compensation rate. Depending on the year of your injury, your compensation rate will differ. You must use the rate for the year in which you were injured.
What is the PA Workers’ Compensation Rate Schedule?
Under the Workers’ Compensation Act, injured employees are entitled to wage loss benefits equal to 2/3 of their weekly wage for a work-related injury. However, there are minimum and maximum adjustments, and the benefit rate is set using the annual maximum in place at the time of the injury. The maximum compensation is based on the Department of Labor & Industry’s calculation of the statewide average weekly wage.
The maximum weekly compensation rate for the calendar year 2022 is $1,205.00 for those with a weekly average income of $1,807.51 or above. This is called the first block.
Next, in the second block, the workers’ compensation rate is 66 2/3 percent of the employee’s average weekly wage if the average weekly wage falls between $1,807.50 and $903.76.
In the third block a weekly compensation rate of $602.50 if the employee’s average weekly wage is between $903.75 and $669.44.
Finally, the fourth block is 90 percent of the employee’s average weekly wage if his/her average weekly wage is $669.43 or less.
How Do I Calculate the Weekly Benefit Rate?
Your Weekly Benefit Rate is calculated based on the wages you were paid in your base year. You must determine the total gross wages received during your base-year period and how much you received during each calendar quarter in the base year. The quarter in which you were paid the most money (gross weekly paycheck and not take-home pay) is called your High Quarter.
Your Weekly Benefit Rate is the amount you can receive if you are eligible for benefits for a week and your benefits are not reduced for any reason.
Your Weekly Benefit Rate should equal about one-half of your full-time weekly wage. If the weekly benefit rate shown on your Notice of Financial Determination is not one-half of your gross full-time weekly wage, and your rate is not the highest benefit rate on the Rate and Amount of UC Benefits chart, you may qualify for a higher weekly benefit rate. Consult with your attorney about collecting the highest amount allowed.
What If I Don’t Want To Do All These Calculations?
You don’t have to do the computations. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you calculate your maximum workers’ compensation rate and workers’ compensation payments. Nonetheless, keep reading as knowledge is power when it comes to protecting your rights and you should have an idea how PA workers comp pay is calculated.
Does My Weekly Benefit Make Allowance For Dependents?
If you are eligible for benefits, you may receive an additional $5 weekly for a dependent spouse plus $3 weekly for one dependent child. If you have no dependent spouse, you can receive $5 weekly for one dependent child, plus $3 weekly for a second dependent child. In either case, the allowance for dependents cannot exceed $8 per week. The allowance for dependents is paid in addition to your regular weekly benefit rate.
Should I Be Confused?
Hopefully, you’re not too confused and you have a basic understanding of your workers’ compensation rights as an injured worker and how your rate is calculated. As you can see, however, the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation insurance law is complex. Within each section of the law, there are further refinements, adjustments, and definitions to be considered and calculated. If you want to receive the most money or more money as an injured worker, then it is imperative to consult with a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Fight for Injured Workers
If you need help with any aspect of your workers’ compensation claim, contact a knowledgeable Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Our law firm can help you navigate the workers’ compensation process and obtain all the benefits which you are entitled. For a free consultation, call us at 888-PITT-LAW or complete our online contact form.