When Can I Lose My Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Pennsylvania?
Many people in Pennsylvania mistakenly believe that once their workers’ compensation claim is approved, they have nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, you could still lose your compensation benefits under certain circumstances.
There are many reasons why you could lose your eligibility for workers’ compensation or have your benefits terminated in Pennsylvania.
If your employer’s insurance company is attempting to terminate your benefits or you are worried that you could lose the benefits in the nearest future, contact a Harrisburg workers’ compensation lawyer at Ira H. Weinstock, P.C., to determine how you can protect your case and keep receiving the benefits while recovering from your work-related injury.
When can you lose your workers’ compensation benefits?
You may lose your workers’ comp benefits under the following circumstances:
- You refuse to continue recommended medical treatment
- You refuse to attend a medical exam
- You were convicted of a crime and incarcerated
- You fail to fill out and submit an employment verification form to the employer’s workers’ comp insurance company within 30 days
Also, your Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits may stop or be modified when:
- You have fully recovered from your work-related injury and signed a Final Receipt
- A workers’ compensation judge has decided to discontinue the benefits after hearings and the presentation of evidence.
- Your doctor has given you a light-duty release, also known as modified duty release and your employer has work within those restrictions. If you earn more than your pre injury wage your benefits will stop. If you earn less, you will get2/3 of your wage loss.
- Your 500 weeks of partial disability have run out
- You agreed to receive a lump sum of money
- Upon returning to work, your wages are equal to or greater than what you were earning before the injury
- The period when you were entitled to specific loss payments has ended
- Your specific loss benefits have ended
- Voluntarily leaving the work force by retirement, taking another job or being terminated for cause.
What ways will I be notified of my employers intent to stop my benefits?
If your employer wants to stop your workers’ compensation benefits, you will receive written notice. If you receive a petition to terminate, suspend, or modify workers’ compensation benefits, do not hesitate to speak with a knowledgeable attorney right away.
There is still a chance to fight the petition and protect your workers’ compensation benefits. A skilled workers’ compensation lawyer may be able to gather sufficient evidence and build a strong case to ensure that you continue receiving your benefits.
In many cases, employers file a termination petition to stop an employee’s workers’ compensation benefits after the employee attends an independent medical examination (IME). However, if you have not fully recovered from your injury or otherwise disagree with the doctor’s opinion, you may be able to fight the termination petition to avoid losing workers’ compensation benefits. This usually requires the support of a medical provider stating, that within a reasonable degree of medical certainty, you have not fully recovered from your injury. It can also allow an injured worker to add subsequent injuries that either are the direct result of the injury, are the result of treatment or come about due to medical malpractice.
Your case may go into litigation, where it will be up to a judge to decide whether your workers’ compensation benefits should stop or continue. It is highly advised to be represented by an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to convince the judge at the hearing that you are still entitled to workers’ comp benefits.
Contact our lawyers at Ira H. Weinstock, P.C., to discuss your particular situation and explore your options if your employer wants to terminate, modify, or suspend your workers’ compensation benefits. Call 717-238-1657 to receive a consultation.