People go to work every day usually not expecting to sustain an injury or illness. However, this can happen to any employee regardless of their profession. When it does, these incidents can sometimes prevent an employee from returning to work for a period of time. As a result, they can find themselves without the income to afford any expenses associated to the injury or illness. It is because of this that workers’ compensation benefits offer wage-loss payments. This provides the individual with the coverage they need for these damages.
How Much are Payments for Lost Wages?
When an employee becomes ill or injured on the job and cannot return to work, they may receive wage-loss payments. In the state of Pennsylvania, these payments are equal to about two-thirds of the individual’s average weekly wage. The minimum compensation rate is the lower of 90% of their average weekly wage or 50% of the statewide average weekly wage. The payments can be offset for 50% of Social Security benefits, severance pay, the employer-paid part of their retirement pension, unemployment compensation, or other earnings. It is crucial to note that Pennsylvania law does not allow for an increase in the payments due to the individual’s cost of living.
When Do Employees Receive the Payment?
In the event that an employee is disabled and cannot return to work for more than seven calendar days, including weekends, they are able to receive wage-loss payments. These can be paid on the eighth day after the injury or illness occurs. When an employee cannot return from work for 14 days, they are able to receive retroactive payment for the first seven days.
It is important to report an injury or illness immediately. This is because the process of receiving wage-loss payments can begin. Once a claim is accepted by an insurance carrier, the employee should receive their first compensation check within 21 days of their absence from work. Payments should continue on a regular basis. In addition to this, temporary compensation payments may be made by an employer or insurance carrier for up to 90 days.
When Do the Payments Stop?
As soon as an employer or insurance carrier is provided with evidence that the employee has returned to work at a wage that is equal or more than their prior earnings, the wage-loss payments can stop. If the compensation is temporary, the employee may be notified by their employer or insurance carrier that the payments will cease because the claim is not accepted.
Other reasons as to why wage-loss payments may stop can include but is not limited to the following:
- If the workers’ compensation judge stops benefits after a hearing
- The employee signs a supplemental agreement or an agreement to stop workers’ compensation
- The 500-week period of partial disability status expires
Contact our Firm
If you or someone you love injured due to the negligence of another party and wish to speak with an experienced attorney, contact the Law Office of Rand Spear at 215-985-2424 for help with your case.