Workers’ Compensation: Steps in the Appeals Process

May 23, 2017

When you’ve filed a workers’ compensation claim with an experienced and aggressive Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney, you will need to know the action steps expected of you. The Pennsylvania government has assembled a helpful flowchart to walk you through the entire process, from filing the claim to its resolution, which can be viewed here.

When you’re healing from a work-related injury, or have been disabled because of an employment-related incident, you will want to know all of your rights and the procedures involved in your workers’ compensation claim, especially if you need to appeal. While your continued health and return to work are the most important issues at hand, your Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer helps walk you through the appeals process. 

Process to appeal a workers’ compensation denial

Pennsylvania has a process by which you can appeal worker’s compensation decisions.

First, a workers’ compensation judge hears and receives evidence presented by both the employer or insurance company and your dedicated Pennsylvania worker’s compensation attorney (you are called the claimant) at one or more hearings. Sometimes, these hearings are extended because of the need to obtain medical evidence and listen to the testimony of witnesses. After these initial hearings, the judge will typically schedule your case for mediation, if it’s necessary.

If you do go to mediation, you will likely reach a settlement in your case. When that doesn’t happen, either your attorney or your employer or insurance company’s attorney may at any time request an informal conference or settlement conference with your judge. A written decision is then circulated to both you and your attorney, and your employer or their representation. The case is called closed, all evidence has been submitted, and the judge has everything that should be necessary to render a decision. At that time, no further action is taken.

Appealing to the workers’ compensation board and beyond

Either you or your attorney has 20 days from the date the judge’s decision is circulated to both the claimant and defendant to file an appeal with the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board. Either side (claimant or defendant) also has 30 days from the date of publication of the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board’s opinion to file an appeal with the Commonwealth Court. After the Commonwealth Court renders its decision, you and your Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney have 30 days from the date of publication of the Commonwealth Court’s decision to file a Petition for Allowance of an Appeal with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Larry Pitt & Associates are dedicated to helping you with your worker’s compensation claim and any appeals you might have to make. If you need information or an explanation of your rights, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We have proudly served clients in Bucks, Berks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties for almost 40 years. When you or your family member was hurt on the job, we fight on your behalf. To schedule a consultation with a team of Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorneys who can and will defend your rights, please call 888.PITT.LAW or fill out our contact form.