What is a Notice of Ability to Return to Work in Pennsylvania?

A Notice of Ability to Return to work in a standard form in Pennsylvania Workers Compensation claims.  I get calls from clients and potential clients that are concerned about receiving this form.  So what is this form and what does it mean?

First, this form is prescribed by Section 306(b)(3) of the PA Workers’ Compensation Act.  The form essentially provides to you notification that the insurance carrier has received medical evidence that indicates your ability to return to work.  Ability is italicized above because it means that the insurance carrier has received work restrictions or a change in restrictions for your condition, it does not mean you have to return to work.  In some cases, an injured worker receives the form and is already back working in light duty, further compounding the confusion.

Essentially, you should view the Notice as an informational notification, rather than a notification that requires action.  However, and I caution, DO NOT take the form lightly.  It could be indicative that the insurance carrier may be preparing to attempt to modify or suspend workers’ compensation benefits.  (more…)

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Common Postal Worker Injuries in Federal Workers Comp

U.S. Postal Workers are frequent victims of work-related injuries, mostly due to the nature of their jobs.  Of all Federal Government employees, US Postal Workers we see the most with on the job work injuries. As you can read here, Federal Government employees can not file workers compensation claims through the regular state workers compensation systems, like all other non-Federal employees.  The Federal Government has its own unique Workers Compensation system. Here are the common injuries we see among Postal…

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Workers Comp Settlement and Social Security Disability

Is there any interplay between a lump sum workers compensation settlement and social security disability benefits?  Yes, there is.  And your workers compensation attorney better be aware of it.

Social Security is still entitled to an offset.  It is statutory, meaning, it is a legal requirement.  So what is the best process to deal with a potential offset when settling a workers compensation case?  Your attorney should ensure that any future offsets are either minimal or eliminated.  It should be done by spreading your settlement over your lifetime expectancy.  This is done through special social security offset language in Paragraph 13 of the Compromise and Release Agreement, otherwise known as the “Sciarotta Allocation.”  The allocation is based on the case Sciarotta v. Bowen(more…)

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Concussions aren’t just in sports, but in the workplace too

Concussions have been in the national spotlight recently.  That is because of the rising awareness of concussion impacts on the NFL, NHL, and other sports.  However, concussions aren’t just a ‘sport’ thing, they happen often in the workplace as well.

Concussion work injuries can be one of the most serious of all on-the-job injuries. Most of these type of injuries can be attributed to head trauma that is caused by falling objects, slip and falls, malfunctioning equipment, and auto accidents.  They are also often litigated in Pennsylvania because of the impact they could have and the fact that symptoms can be slow to wane and continue to develop.

Loss of consciousness — does it matter?

One of the misnomers out there is the fact that if the individual did not lose consciousness, then he/she is probably exaggerating their symptoms.  That simply is far from the truth.  A mild traumatic brain injury can certainly cause loss of consciousness, but there also may be no obvious symptoms at all, including loss of consciousness.  In fact, the vast majority of concussions across the United States, loss of consciousness does not occur.

One common myth about a concussion is that it only occurs, or more often occurs, following loss of consciousness. The truth is that concussions occur with or without loss of consciousness. In fact, more than 90 percent of concussions are not accompanied by a loss of consciousness.  A related myth is that when there is a loss of consciousness, this indicates a more serious concussion and a lengthy recovery period. Our research shows that loss of consciousness is not directly correlated to a longer recovery, and may even be associated with a shorter one. (more…)

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What are the Workers Compensation LIBC Employment Verification forms?

Pennsylvania injured workers get tons of paperwork in the mail, especially when they are in litigation of their workers compensation claim.  They get tons of documents from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, from the insurance carrier, from their employer, and from their attorney. There are a few documents you should know about and understand the importance in completing and returning these forms in a timely manner.  They are Employee verification forms, specifically, LIBC 750 (Employees Report of Wages), LIBC 756…

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