If you suffer an on-the-job injury in Pennsylvania, you may have to take time off work during recovery. Because you still have to make ends meet during this time, you’ll need funds on hand to pay bills, buy food and provide for your family’s needs. Filing a workers’ compensation claim is typically a means to obtain financial benefits that can help sustain you while you’re unable to work because of your injuries.
It’s helpful to understand how the system determines the amount of benefits you can receive. Every case is unique, and various factors are considered when calculating the amount of financial supplements that you can collect during recovery from a workplace accident.
Workers’ comp is a no-fault system
When your injuries occurred at work, one or more people may have been responsible for causing the accident. However, personal negligence in no way affects your workers’ compensation benefits. It is a no-fault system. Your employer’s insurance covers your injuries, whether or not your case involves employer negligence.
Consequently, if your own negligence resulted in your injuries, you cannot be docked benefits. Your employer cannot use your own negligence against you in this way.
Rates are calculated using a formula set up by the state
You may not receive your full weekly salary while collecting workers’ compensation benefits following a workplace injury. Every state has its own regulations regarding how it calculates benefits. For example, Pennsylvania uses a standardized formula for calculating benefits.
This means that the formula used to calculate your benefits is the same as the formula used to calculate a coworker’s benefits. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you and your coworker will receive the same amount of financial supplement during recovery. The formula standardized by the amount may vary, depending on weekly salaries.
Adjustments can occur over the life of a claim
Your injuries may have resulted in a temporary full disability or partial disability, or a permanent disability, etc., which may affect the amount of benefits you’re eligible to receive. The system is designed to allow adjustments to be made over a period of time. For instance, if cost of living increases, this increase can be a consideration four years after the date of your injury, and adjustments in your benefits can occur to account for the higher cost of living.
Your benefits are based on your pre-injury wages and state averages
The amount of workers’ compensation benefits you’re eligible to receive following a workplace injury are not only based on your individual wages prior to the date of your injury but also the average weekly salary throughout Pennsylvania. In some cases, you may be eligible to receive two-thirds of your regular weekly wages. In other cases, you might qualify for more or less than that.
Navigating the workers’ comp system during recovery after a workplace accident can be stressful, which is why you’ll want to reach out for additional support, as needed, to minimize stress and to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of benefits to which you are entitled.