Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp Benefits and Taxable Income

It is that time of year again where we all must file federal and state tax returns. Many questions I receive from client this time of year is whether workers’ compensation benefits and lump sums settlement funds are considered taxable income. As for Pennsylvania state taxes, workers’ compensation benefits are not considered to be taxable income. Likewise, under Federal law, specifically, 26 U.S. Code §104(a)(1), workers’ compensation benefits are not considered taxable income. It is important to note that these…

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Read more about the article How long does it take to receive Pennsylvania workers compensation wage loss benefits?
Mooney Law

How long does it take to receive Pennsylvania workers compensation wage loss benefits?

Many times when I meet with an injured worker, the first question asked is --- how long does it take to receive workers compensation wage loss benefits.  I provide that answer here. There are a few nuances to payment of wage loss benefits in Pennsylvania.  First, the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act provides employers with a 20 day window to either accept or deny an injury.  During that 20 day period, you may or may not be paid benefits.  The purpose…

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PA Termination Petition: Will My Workers Comp Checks Stop?

When an employer/insurance carrier in Pennsylvania files a Termination Petition, what they are seeking is to immediately stop all end your Pennsylvania workers compensation benefits.  They are seeking to end wage loss and medical benefits.  You need legal expertise from an experienced Workers Comp attorney. Why is a termination petition filed in my case? In most cases, a termination petition is filed after you attended an independent medical examination.  You can read more about the facts about an IME, right…

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Pennsylvania sets new Workers Compensation Average Weekly Wage rates for 2016

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry has released the new state wide average weekly wage chart for 2016.  Here are the 2016 workers compensation rates for wage loss benefits. YOUR WAGES (PER WEEK) Average Weekly Wage COMPENSATION RATE Amount You Will Receive $1468.00 and Above $978.00 (Maximum Rate) $733.51 to $1467.00 2/3 of AWW $543.33 to $733.50 $489.00 $542.32 or Less 90% of AWW In workers compensation, your Average Weekly Wage is calculated based on your earnings prior to…

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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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How long does it take to litigate a work injury in Pennsylvania?

b4e87-workinjuryOne of the first questions I get at nearly every consultation for workers’ compensation is — how long does it take to get benefits.  Understandably so.  Injured workers still have mortgages, rent, car payments, and other bills to pay.  If your injury is accepted by your employer and it’s insurance carrier, then you will likely wait two or three weeks for wage loss benefits to begin.   What about if your work injury is denied?

Let’s cut to the case right away, then I will explain.  A fully litigated workers compensation claim is not a quick process, it takes a long time. If your claim is denied, by the time you actually get a decision by a workers compensation Judge, you are likely looking at a time frame between 8 and 12 months, depending on the Judge.   Let me explain.

A litigated claim (and we use that to mean a Denied claim), commences by me filing a Claim Petition on your behalf.  The burden of proof in a Claim Petition lies with the injured worker.  I must prove four things in Claim Petition litigation:

1.  An injury occurred;

2.  in the course of claimant’s employment;

3.  the injury disables claimant from performing work, thus wage loss, and

4.  that the employer was timely notified of the work injury.

With the new workers compensation integrated software system (WCAIS), a Notice of Assignment to a workers compensation Judge usually occurs fairly quickly.  However, it still may be 3 to 4 weeks until your first hearing.  That’s right — FIRST hearing.  Again, depending on the Judge, you may or may not testify at the first hearing.  Some judges simply use the first hearing as a five minute set up the case kind of hearing.  Other judges have the claimant testify.  dge. So right off the bat there is a 3 week wait for a Judge to get the file and hold a hearing. And the Judges in Pennsylvania do a fantastic job of getting you a quick hearing date.   (more…)

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Drug Tests and Impact on Employment and Workers Compensation

The Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association recently released a report that one in three potential employees either refuse to take a drug pre-screen test or fail a pre-screen drug test. While in many cases the percentages are not high, the fact that 19% refuse to take drug tests as a condition of employment and 16% fail these tests raise a red flag and a real concern about this issue. These stats are troubling and disheartening for Pennsylvania.   Drug pre-screen testing is…

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Injured at work and layoff in Pennsylvania

Often times, I get calls from injured workers, who return to work, and are then subsequently laid off due to slow down or job elimination.  It is a frequent occurrence.    The questions always revolves around the workers compensation issue and entitlement to benefits. The more typical scenario here involves a plant or warehouse and a typical slowdown period where shifts are laid off.  Often, employers will instruct injured workers to apply for unemployment compensation benefits during the layoff period.…

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