Workers' Compensation

I’m sure most of you have seen lawyer ads on television about being able to help you get workers' comp benefits. But did you know there is an easier way? As an organization, you need to know what you are required to provide and what benefit you can give to your employees.

Brief Background

In 1915, the Pennsylvania legislature enacted the Workmen’s (Workers’) Compensation Act. This law specifies compensation for employees who are injured as a result of employment without regard to fault. Over the years, amendments eventually merged the compensation for injuries and occupational diseases (such as black lung disease) into this act.

The workers’ compensation system protects employees and employers. Employees receive medical treatment and are compensated for lost wages associated with work-related injuries and diseases, and employers pay the cost of such coverage while being protected from direct lawsuits by employees. Workers’ compensation coverage is mandatory for most employers under Pennsylvania law. Our company carries workers’ compensation coverage for all of our employees. Coverage begins the first day on the job.

What Your Employees Need to Know

It is very important for all of your organization's employees to remember that should they sustain a work-related injury, they must immediately notify the person or team that oversees your Human Resources function. No matter how insignificant it might be, employees must report the incident. Most times, it is an insignificant injury, but that one time out of ten when it turns into something more serious, the claim has been filed in a timely manner and benefits can be provided.

Your Role to Help Your Employees

Years ago, we had an employee who worked outside and got stung by what he thought was a bee. He didn't think it was a big deal, so he didn't report the incident. But two weeks later when his forearm had swollen significantly, he got it checked out and found out that it was an allegic reaction and he had developed an infection.

Because our employee did not fill out an incident report immediately, we had to fight long and hard to get the employee benefits covered under workers’ compensation. The company pays for workers’ compensation insurance, and similar to most other insurances, you pay for it and hope you never have to use it. But when needed, it certainly is comforting knowing your employees are covered.

Generally, the benefits pay you up to 2/3 of your average weekly earnings and cover such costs as doctor visits, hospital costs, laboratory tests, x-rays, among others. But when claims are not filed in a timely manner, it may be the responsibility of your organziation to step in to help your employee receive compensation.

Are you telling your employees what to do if they have an incident at work? Do you have a process in place for paperwork to be completed? If your organization needs a tune up for workers' compensation claims, feel free to reach out to us!

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