One of the worst things about getting hurt at work is that you need to take a leave of absence to recover. The more severe your injury is, the more time you may go without a steady paycheck. Unless you purchased a private disability policy of your own, you will likely depend on workers’ compensation to help replace your paycheck until you are back on the job.
Workers’ compensation offers both short-term and permanent disability benefits. There are different amounts of compensation available for those with a total disability, meaning they are completely unable to work, as compared to those with only a partial disability that allows them to do some job functions but not all of them.
Understanding how much workers’ compensation might pay you can help you budget and prepare yourself for your claim.
There are maximum benefit amounts that apply
Some people in Pennsylvania make significantly more than others do. Although workers can, in theory, receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage, that isn’t true for everyone. In 2022, the average weekly wage in the state of Pennsylvania was $1,205, so that is the maximum disability payment possible. Workers who make more than that will realize that what they receive is likely far less than two-thirds of their typical income.
Lower-earning workers can receive a higher percentage of their pay in disability benefits. Those who make less than $669.49 per week will qualify for workers’ compensation disability benefits that replace 90% of their average weekly wage.
Workers’ compensation is your first line of defense
Sometimes, workers have an uphill battle getting the benefits that they need. Perhaps their employer tries to claim that they didn’t acquire the injury on the job, or maybe the doctor overseeing their care recommends a questionable treatment plan, requiring that they take complicated steps to obtain a better treatment plan.
Despite the limitations of the program, filing a claim so that you receive benefits is better than trying to avoid a claim and using your own health insurance when you get hurt on the job. After all, your employer has been paying for coverage on your behalf since they first hired you, and you deserve protection from financial losses caused because you have a job. Learning more about Pennsylvania workers’ compensation coverage will help empower you to get the benefits you need.