‘How Much is My Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp Case Worth in 2020?’
If you were diagnosed with a work-related injury or illness in Scranton or other parts of Pennsylvania, you most likely have two questions:
- “Am I eligible for workers’ compensation?”
- “How much is my workers’ comp case worth?”
Determining how much your workers’ compensation case is worth may feel complicated. In reality, however, calculating your settlement is fairly easy as long as you understand how Pennsylvania’s workers’ comp law works.
How to Calculate Total Disability Benefits?
You have a total disability when your injury is so severe that you are out of work for some period of time. In Pennsylvania, workers with a total disability are entitled to compensation for their lost wages as long as they cannot work more than a week. While the first seven days are not paid right away, they are included in the workers’ comp award and are paid retroactively if the injured employee is out of work for at least 14 days.
In 2020, Pennsylvania workers can receive no more than $1,081 in wage-loss benefits per week, according to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
How much your workers’ comp case is worth depends on your wages at the time of the workplace injury:
- If you earned between $810.76 and $1,621.50, you are entitled to two-thirds (66%) of your normal weekly wage;
- If you earned between $600.56 and $810.75, you would receive $540.50 per week; or
- If you earned $600.55 or less, your wage-loss benefit would be 90% of your regular wage.
How to Calculate Partial Disability Benefits?
If your work-related injury or illness does not prevent you from returning to work, but you cannot earn the same amount as before the injury, you are entitled to partial disability benefits in Pennsylvania.
Partial disability benefits can be calculated by determining two-thirds of the difference between your pre-injury wages and your current wages. When determining your wage-loss benefits with a partial disability, the same minimum and maximum thresholds as for total disability benefits apply (see above).
In Pennsylvania, injured workers are eligible to receive partial disability benefits for 500 weeks (almost 9-and-a-half years) or until the employee returns to their full earning potential as before the injury, whichever comes first.
Specific Loss Benefits in Pennsylvania
Workers who sustained an on-the-job injury in Scranton or other parts of Pennsylvania are entitled to “specific loss benefits,” which is based on damage to specific body parts or bodily functions.
Specific loss benefits are determined by multiplying an injured worker’s weekly wage-loss benefits by a specific number of weeks. These benefits amount to two-thirds of the worker’s wages paid for:
- 410 weeks for losing a leg;
- 335 weeks for losing a hand;
- 275 weeks for losing an eye; and
- 50 weeks for losing an index finger.
There are also other specific loss benefits for the loss of other body parts and bodily functions.
In addition to workers’ comp benefits that cover lost wages, the coverage also pays for medical expenses, travel costs (to and from a hospital), as well as vocational rehabilitation. If you want to determine how much your workers’ comp case is worth in Pennsylvania, speak with our Scranton workers’ compensation attorneys at Needle Law Firm. Call at 570-344-1266 for a case review.