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    Pennsylvania Worker's Compensation

    Pennsylvania Worker's Compensation

    The Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act compensates for your medical expenses and — if you are unable to work — wage-loss payments until you are able to return to work if you experience a job-related accident or sickness. In addition, your dependent survivors receive death benefits for fatalities at work.

    Private insurance providers (including third-party administrators), the State Workers' Insurance Fund (a state-run workers' compensation insurance carrier), or self-insured employers pay benefits.

    Who Needs Workers’ Compensation Coverage In Pennsylvania

    It is crucial to protect your Pennsylvania employees from injury in the workplace. In fact, practically every business with employees in the United States needs workers' compensation insurance.

    However, certain companies in Pennsylvania are exempted from providing workers' compensation insurance. These exemptions from workers' comp include:

    • People who are already covered by other workers' compensation laws, such as railroad personnel, longshoremen, and federal employees
    • Sole employer's agricultural employees that work fewer than 30 days or earn less than $1,200 per year
    • Employees exempted due to their religious beliefs or executive status

    What Workers’ Compensation Covers In Pennsylvania

    What Workers’ Compensation Covers In Pennsylvania

    Pennsylvania workers' compensation insurance benefits both you and your employees. It gives benefits to your employees if they become unwell or injured due to their work. It can also give payouts to the beneficiaries of an employee who dies for work-related reasons.

    If an employee suffers from a work-related accident or illness, they must notify you within 120 days. Then, you can file a claim with your insurance provider.

    Workers' compensation insurance in Pennsylvania covers:

    • Injuries sustained as a result of an employee's job at your company
    • Workplace illnesses caused by chemical or allergen exposure
    • Injuries caused by repetitive stress, such as carpal tunnel syndrome

    Workers' compensation in Pennsylvania provides a number of benefits to employees who have sustained a work-related injury or illness, such as:

    Health Care ExpensesThis includes surgery, physician visits, medication, medical equipment, and laboratory tests
    Ongoing Care ExpensesFor services such as physical therapy and rehabilitation
    Partial Disability PaymentsFor personnel who cannot work at full capacity
    Death BenefitsFor an employee's family, if he or she dies within 300 weeks of a work-related injury or sickness
    Total Disability PaymentsFor employees who are completely unable to return to work
    Permanent Injury PaymentsMay serve as a compensation for a lost body part

    Workers’ Compensation Laws In Pennsylvania

    After experiencing a work-related injury or illness, your employees can receive a weekly compensation to cover their medical expenses and missed wages under the PA Bureau of Workers' Compensation. Workers' compensation permits you to pay benefits to your employees while shielding you from legal action.

    Your employees are covered by workers' compensation for the duration of their employment. This means that coverage begins on the employee's first day of employment, regardless of their previous physical condition.

    Workers’ Compensation-Related Statistics In Pennsylvania

    Work-related injuries can occur anytime and anywhere, regardless of how careful or experienced a worker is. The impact of such injuries goes beyond the severe effects they have on a worker’s health and lifestyle. Its possible effects on business operations include reduced productivity, lower profitability, decreased morale, damaged reputation, and, in the worst-case scenario, closure.

    Workers’ compensation helps alleviate financial and mental stress associated with work-related injuries. However, the flow of a workers’ compensation claim in Pennsylvania could be tricky or unfamiliar to most. The process of applying for the benefit could be confusing, too.

    Nevertheless, workers’ compensation insurance is required by Pennsylvania law. It’s worth putting time and effort into finding comprehensive insurance for your business as a means of support and protection in case of workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.

    Here are some relevant statistics related to workers’ comp in Pennsylvania:

    • From 154 fatalities in 2019, fatal occupational injuries decreased to 148 in 2020
    • Transportation accidents caused 33% of work-related fatalities in 2020. The other leading causes of fatalities include the following:
      • Roadway incidents that involved motorized land vehicles (20%)
      • Slips, trips, and falls (19%)
      • Contact with equipment or objects (18%)
      • Exposure to harmful substances or hazardous environments (17%)
    • Transportation and material moving occupations caused 32% of fatal workplace injuries
    • There were a total of 147,198 work-related injuries and illnesses reported to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation in 2020. This is 24,838 fewer than the previous year
    • Sprains and strains accounted for 51,050 cases or 34.5% of total cases reported in 2020
    • 51,434 cases, or 34.8% of all work-related injuries reported in 2020, affected the fingers
    • Overexertion — including pulling, pushing, lifting, and more — was the leading cause of work-related injuries in 2020. It resulted in 38,322 injuries ( 25.9% of all reported injuries)

    Frequently Asked Questions 

    Here are some frequently asked questions regarding workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania:

    What is the process for workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania?

    The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation provides a detailed guide to workers’ compensation

    Employees must inform their employer about the injury within 21 days of the incident so that the latter can provide the contact details of their workers’ comp insurance carrier. There is no compensation for injuries or illnesses reported 120 or more days after the incident, with the exception of progressive diseases.

    How much do employees receive from a workers’ compensation claim?

    Employees are granted coverage for any work-related injuries and illnesses starting on their first day on the job, regardless of the employee’s pre-existing physical condition. The claim amount varies depending on the employee’s wage and the total coverage that the employer applied for.

    Wage loss benefits are calculated based on the injured employee’s average weekly wage. It is generally two-thirds of how much they were earning before the work-related injury or illness. However, the policy might include a maximum benefit rate, so highly-paid employees might receive less than two-thirds of their average weekly rate. In some cases, there is a fixed rate.

    Is workers’ compensation mandatory for Pennsylvania businesses?

    According to Pennsylvania law, workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory in most cases. These are the only exemptions for the coverage:

    • Employees with other workers’ compensation coverage
    • Agricultural workers who do less than 30 days of labor or earn a maximum of $1,200 in a calendar year from one employer
    • Employees who requested and are granted exemptions due to religious beliefs or their executive position in organizations

    How do Pennsylvania businesses get workers’ compensation insurance?

    Employers can get workers’ compensation coverage through an insurance carrier. Alternatively, they can secure coverage from the State Workers’ Insurance Fund.

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