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Pennsylvania may be changing workers' compensation procedures

Pennsylvania residents are the latest generation in a long line of hard working people. From coal mines to steel mills, the Keystone state has long been home to the sorts of industry that keep our country running. Many of the jobs people do every day are dangerous, and carry with them the risk of severe injury. Workers' compensation a way for people to make sure they can still pay their bills and care for their families if they are injured on the job. New legislation may change the way the state handles these claims. 

In June, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted to reinstate a rule that allows insurance companies to request that severely injured claimants undergo a medical evaluation after they have been away from their job for two years. This means that if a doctor decides that the victim is less than 35 percent injured at the time he or she is re-evaluated, the money they are eligible to claim from workers' compensation can be capped after 10 years. If the re-evaluation finds that a victim is more than 35 percent injured, they cannot have their benefits capped. 

This legislation overturns a decision made last year to remove the re-evaluations. At that time, the court had decided that it was unconstitutional, because it allowed private entities like doctors and insurance companies to determine the amounts of government benefits a victim may be entitled to. The legislation to reinstate the evaluations will become law if the Senate also votes in favor. 

When someone is severely injured at their job, they may feel overwhelmed. If a victim of a workplace injury thinks he or she may be eligible for workers' compensation, help is available regarding the process of applying for benefits. An experienced attorney can often be an asset to victims and their families, and will have a detailed understanding of ever-changing workers' compensation laws. 

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