Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Laws

A work injury is any injury, medical condition, or disease that is caused by a person’s job. Here’s everything you need to know about Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Laws.

The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act outlines and defines the available benefits for injured workers in Pennsylvania, the conditions that must be in place for compensation awards, and the procedures that need to be followed for that compensation to be granted. The workers’ compensation system has been enforced in Pennsylvania since 1915. Almost every worker in Pennsylvania, with a few exceptions, is covered by workers’ compensation.

Summary of Workers’ Compensation Laws in Pennsylvania

In 1915, Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation Act charged the Department of Labor & Industry and the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation with carrying out the administrative and appeal obligations defined in the act and specified compensation for employees who are injured as a result of their job regardless of who’s at fault. Under the PA Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, employees may receive a weekly wage to cover their medical treatment and lost wages after suffering a work-related injury or disease. Workers’ compensation allows an employer to provide benefits to their employees while also protecting themselves and the business from lawsuits.

With workers’ compensation, employees receive coverage for the entire period of their employment, meaning coverage begins the first day on the job regardless of the employee’s previous physical or health condition.

Related: Pennsylvania Unfair Competition Laws

Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Pennsylvania

Workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania offers several benefits to employees with a work-related injury or illness, including:

  • Health care expenses like surgery, doctor visits, medicine, medical equipment, and lab tests.
  • Ongoing care expenses for treatments like physical therapy or rehabilitation services.
  • Partial disability payments for employees that are unable to work at full capacity.
  • Death benefits for an employee’s family if they die from a work-related injury or illness within 300 weeks of the injury.
  • Total disability payments for employees who are unable to return to work at all.
  • Permanent injury payments may compensate for the loss of a body part.
  • Important Deadlines for Workers’ Compensation Laws in Pennsylvania

For the Department of Labor and Industry to approve and investigate an employee’s claim for workers’ compensation, the employee and employer must adhere to the following deadlines:

  • The employee has 21 days to give notice of work-related injury to their employer. After 120 days, the claim is time-barred.
  • The employer and employee may agree upon compensation on or after the 7th day after injury.
  • The employee has 3 years to file the petition seeking benefits for the injury.

Types of Benefits

The following are types of benefits an employee may receive with workers’ compensation:

  • Health care expenses: surgery, doctor visits, medicine, medical equipment, lab tests, etc.,
  • Partial disability payments: to compensate employees unable to work at full capacity (500 weeks max),
  • Total disability payments: to compensate employees unable to return to work (no time limit),
  • Permanent injury payments: to compensate for the loss of a body part (duration varies),
  • Death benefits go to spouses and minor dependents if an employee dies from work-related injury or illness within 300 weeks after injury.

Related: Pennsylvania Workplace Discrimination Laws

Who is Covered Under Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Laws?

Most workers in Pennsylvania, whether full-time, part-time or seasonal, are covered by workers’ compensation. All at-will or contracted employees are eligible for workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania. The most common exceptions are Employees of the Federal Government who work in Pennsylvania.
Other exceptions include:

  • Agricultural workers who work less than 30 hours or earn less than $1,200 in a calendar year for one employer,
  • Employees who requested an exemption due to their executive status in their company,
  • Domestic help unless they are enrolled in workers’ compensation by their employer,
  • Employees who have a personal religious exemption,
  • Contractors,
  • Casual employees,
  • Volunteer workers

Contact Us

If you or a loved one would like to learn more about Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Laws, get your free consultation with one of our Employment Attorneys in Pennsylvania today!