Termination and Suspension Petitions in Pennsylvania Workers Compensation

Termination and suspension petitions in Pennsylvania workers’ compensation are frequently litigated. They are filed by Employers and are a direct threat to benefits for injured workers in Pennsylvania. What are they and are they different?

Termination Petition in Pennsylvania workers’ compensation

Termination Petitions are filed by employers in Pennsylvania workers’ compensation when the employer is alleging that the injured worker has fully recovered from the work injury. Essentially, the employer is asking a Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) to terminate/end wage loss benefits AND medical benefits.

In most cases, these petitions are filed when an employer has sent the injured worker for an independent medical examination (IME) and the doctor for the employer writes a report and provides an opinion that the injured worker has fully recovered from the work injury. Often times, the injured worker is still treating and out of work, or still treating, but has returned to work in a light duty position. In rarer occasions, a termination petition has been field because the injured workers’ treating doctor has provided a full recovery opinion.

These cases are litigated and requires testimony from the injured worker and testimony from both the treating and the IME doctor. If the WCJ finds the injured worker to be fully recovered, then entitlement all wage loss and medical benefits ends. Effectively, the claim is closed. That is precisely why it is imperative for injured workers to have an experienced workers’ compensation attorney on their side to fight these allegations.

Suspension Petition in Pennsylvania workers’ compensation

Suspension petitions are filed by the employer when the employer is alleging that an injured worker is no longer suffering wage loss, but not yet fully recovered from the work injury. In other words, they are asking the WCJ to stop wage loss benefits, but will continue to pay medical benefits.

In most cases, these petitions are filed when an employer has sent the injured worker for an independent medical examination (IME) and the doctor for the employer writes a report and provides an opinion that the injured worker is not fully recovered, but can return to work in light duty or to the preinjury job. The restrictions are often times less restrictive than the treating doctor’s restrictions. Subsequently, the employer will then provide a light duty job offer to the injured worker, however, in many instances, the light duty job offer does not meet the treating doctor’s restrictions or the treating doctor may have the injured work completely out of work. It is important to note that an injured worker should follow the treating doctor’s restrictions. Again, this petition is a direct threat to wage loss benefits for the injured worker. On some occasions, a job offer is made when the treating doctor issues work restrictions.

Again, testimony from the injured worker, both doctors, and likely an employer fact witness occurs during this litigation. In both instances, the employer at the beginning of litigation is asking the WCJ to grant supersedeas and stop wage loss benefits immediately. It is imperative for the injured workers to have experienced workers’ compensation representation to submit sufficient evidence to defeat the employer’s Supersedeas request.

Mooney Law is a full workers’ compensation litigation practice. We handle termination and suspension petition on a daily basis, every single day. We are ready to help you as well. Call Mooney Law today to schedule a FREE consultation at 717-200-HELP or 717-632-4656. You can also visit our website to complete a form. Finally, please feel free to follow my Workers’ Comp Facebook page.

Mark Buterbaugh

Attorney representing injured workers and Social Security Disability clients in Pennsylvania and Maryland.