If you get hurt or become ill on the job, it is important to report your injury or illness immediately. This helps ensure that you receive all the benefits to which you are entitled under the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system.
Too often workers fail to mention minor work-related injuries or sicknesses to supervisors. Sometimes, workers fail to realize that an injury or illness is related to work. In either case, workers may be jeopardizing their right to benefits by not filing a claim for workers’ compensation in a timely manner.
Workers’ Compensation Time Frames
As in most states, in Pennsylvania a workers’ compensation claimant is not be entitled to wage replacement benefits until day eight. If you file your claim within 21 days of the date of your injury, or the date that your illness began, you will be entitled to benefits retroactive to day eight.
If you fail to file your claim within the 21-day period, you may lose your right to retroactive benefits.
In other words, if you wait until day 25 to file a claim with your employer, then your benefits may start on day 25 instead of starting on day eight. In addition, failing to file a claim within 120 days may bar you from benefits entirely.
Imagine, for example, that you fall while at work. Although your lower back is a bit sore, you assume that no real damage was done so you do not mention the fall to your supervisor. As the days turn into weeks, and the weeks turn into months, that soreness in your back never goes away. Finally your doctor recommends an MRI, which shows that you have a herniated disc in your lumbar spine. You are now looking at a very costly surgery that may not be covered by Pennsylvania workers’ compensation because you failed to report the initial injury in a timely fashion.
Consult a Workers’ Comp Attorney
The simple lesson is to report even the smallest injury to your supervisor. In addition, if you feel that you are suffering from an illness that might be related to your employment, consult an Worker’s Compensation immediately to ensure that your rights are protected.
If you have questions or concerns about your legal rights to compensation, contact the Philadelphia workplace injury law firm of Shor & Levin, the Bulldog Lawyers, at 855-631-5084 or use our online contact form.