Can I help with Maryland Workers’ Comp?

I often get questions from Pennsylvania residents that get hurt in Maryland whether they need to find a firm in Maryland to handle their workers' compensation case in Maryland.  The answer to the question is NO.   Several of Mooney Law's Pennsylvania office locations, specifically Chambersburg, Waynesboro, Gettysburg, Hanover, and York, are close to the Pennsylvania and Maryland border.  Often times, Pennsylvania residents live in Pennsylvania but work in Maryland and get hurt at work in Maryland.  If you work in…

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Happy Labor Day Pennsylvania!

One thing I have learned through my years of dedicating my practice to representing injured workers is the fact we have a strong labor work ethic in Pennsylvania.  I see it everyday.

Happy-Labor-Day-Greeting

The misnomer out there is that injured workers want to just sit on workers compensation benefits.  That is just not accurate.  Many injured workers that I represent want to get back to work quickly, even before they are healed.  Many are losing precious dollars each week, many are long time employees of companies they enjoy working for, and others feel worthless just sitting at home, while they heal from their work injuries.  These are not people trying to live off a benefit they deserve.  These folks do not go to work asking to be injured.

Robust Economy in Central Pennsylvania

In Central Pennsylvania, we have a robust economy.  Cumberland County is expected to become the fastest growing county in the Commonwealth.  From a strong housing market, to a positive tax environment, to a robust work ethic, the Carlisle, Mechanicsburg, Silver Spring Township, Hampden Township areas, and even south to Shippensburg, are bustling with economic development.  Even across the county border to Franklin County, just look at the growth in Chambersburg.  Distribution Centers and manufacturing are popping up all along Interstate 81 corridor.  Shippensburg is set to see more growth off Interstate 81, Exit 24.  One thing these companies have cited is a strong work ethic.  That is something to be proud of.  Companies do not locate to areas where they do not believe they can gain a strong work force.

So on this Labor Day, we should take pride in our communities that we live in and be thankful we are seeing growth and advancement, not decay and depreciation.  Pennsylvania is not a growing state, population wise, but the area we live in, well, the story is quite different.  Take pride in our communities and who we are as Central Pennsylvanians.  We work well, we work hard, and we produce.

Treating injured employees with respect

Hopefully, as we continue to see companies locate into Cumberland, Franklin, and Adams counties, we will see companies become good stewards.  Part of that is treating employees with respect and taking care of them when they are hurt.  Work injuries happen.  It is a fact.  Many people get hurt working around the home.  But, at work, there is heavy lifting, there are fork lift accidents, there is such a thing as repetitive stress and trauma, there are slip and falls, there are certified nursing assistant who get injured helping patients, and there are auto accidents.  The key is how we respond to such injuries.  Companies need to do a better job at restructuring or revising processes to avoid work injuries.  They need to constantly evaluate work injuries and make changes to head off injuries before they occur.  They need to put employee safety as a core company value.  Without employees, companies do not exist.  Without a healthy work force, profits dwindle.  It’s called good stewardship and it needs to become a core principle.  Companies need to stop with the suspicions, stop the blaming, and stop putting up impediments to treatment for injuries, and instead, focus on getting injured workers well and compensating them fairly for life altering injuries.  (more…)

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Harrisburg Social Security Disability Office has long hearing wait, adds new Judges

I hear from every client their disbelief of the wait time to receive a hearing on their Social Security Disability appeal.  It is frightening for folks who have no income or limited income and can’t function normally or work. However, it is also a reality.  And, it is not just the Harrisburg Office of Adjudication and Review, which handles Social Security Disability appeals, that has the backlog wait time.  It is a national problem.

Mooney & Associates representing social security clients
Mooney & Associates representing social security clients

Here are the current numbers. (As of July 2016)

HEARING LOCATION HEARING WAIT TIME
Elkins Park, PA 20.0 Months
Harrisburg 19.3 Months
Johnstown 19 Months
Philadelphia 20.5 Months
Philadelphia East 20 Months
Pittsburgh 21 Months
Seven Field, PA 18 Months
Wilkes Barre 16.5 Months
Pennsylvania State Average 19.3 Months
Baltimore, MD 21 Months
NHC Baltimore 19 Months
Maryland State Average 20 Months

As you can see, the Harrisburg ODAR office is trending right near the Pennsylvania state average, but above the National average.  There may be some relief in sight though.  Harrisburg has recently added three new Administrative Law Judges, which should help reduce the wait time to around the National average.  Bottom line is, even with new ALJ’s on the way, if you have been denied Social Security Disability and you appeal, you SHOULD NOT expect to have a hearing for at least 16 months. (more…)

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Commonwealth Court Reaffirms Residency Does Not Provide Jurisdiction in Workers Compensation

Recently, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, once again, addressed the issue of state jurisdiction over a workers compensation claim. In this case, a Pennsylvania resident was injured in an auto accident in New Jersey, while working for a trucking company based out of Alabama.  During the pendency of the claim, the Claimant was receiving workers compensation benefits through the state of Alabama.   When the Claimant applied for his position, he testified that he completed an online application at his home…

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PA Court: Issuance of a Medical-Only NCP in Workers Compensation differs from Acceptance and Subsequent Suspension of Benefits

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court recently distinguished between a Medical-Only Notice of Compensation Payable and an acceptance of a work injury and a subsequent Suspension of benefits, in Sloane v. W.C.A.B (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia)  No 1399, C.D. 2014(Pa. Cmwlth. 2015). The relevant time lines are this:  An injured worker has three years after the date of the injury to file a Claim Petition to seek workers’ compensation benefits for the injury.  If a Notice of Compensation Payable (NCP) is issued…

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Staffing Agencies and workers compensation in Pennsylvania

Is an injured workers who works for a temporary agency covered by workers compensation benefits?  Its a question I am often asked. The answer is --- more than likely, yes. There are some instances where an individual working for a staffing agency may very well be an independent contractor, and thus not covered by the Workers Compensation Act.  We can help answer those questions for you.  However, in most instances, especially in our area, you will likely be covered with…

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Offered a workers compensation settlement? Now what?

From time to time, I get calls from prospective clients because they received a workers compensation settlement offer to end their workers compensation claim.  The prospective client received the offer directly from the insurance carrier adjuster.  The adjuster insists the claim is fair and reasonable.  The question I am always asked is --- So now what? First, talk to an experienced workers compensation attorney before ever agreeing to any settlement offer made by an insurance carrier.  Often these settlement offers…

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When Will I Get My First Workers Compensation Check?

One of the most frequently asked questions my office receives is --- when will I get my first workers compensation check?  Frequently, the answer I provide is not what the injured worker wants to hear.  Let me explain. First and foremost, the first thing to understand is that any payments that may be due you may not begin flowing until after three weeks.  Why?  The Statute provides the employer a 21 day window to investigate the work injury claim.  The…

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Warehouse growth in Franklin and Cumberland County is a blessing and a curse

The Greencastle, Chambersburg, Shippensburg, and Carlisle areas have been booming with large warehouse development.  The growth is obviously related to Interstate 81, a  corridor that has become truck heavy in carrying good both north and south.  The good part of the warehousing boom is --- the jobs.  The bad part of the warehousing boom --- the jobs. The warehousing boom has certainly lowered unemployment rates in South Central Pennsylvania.  The most recent data indicates Franklin County with a 5.2% unemployment…

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Veteran discount for Pennsylvania Workers Compensation

Mooney & Associates is proud and grateful for the service our military veterans have provided to this great Nation.  Our law firm offers military veterans an array of discounts on legal services when using our law firm.  It is our way of showing appreciation for their service. If you are a military veteran and are hurt on the job, we will offer a discounted fee on workers compensation cases.  The discount can save a veteran hundreds or thousands of dollars.…

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