05.09.2018

What Circumstances Cause Workers’ Compensation Benefits To End?

If you have been injured at work or have any questions about workers’ compensation, call Powell Law today to consult with an experienced Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney. Certain circumstances cause workers’ comp benefits to end. Here is a summary of the ways benefits may be modified or terminated:

Full recovery

An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) may approve the unequivocal medical opinion of a physician that a worker has made a full 100% recovery.

Return to work at the same or a higher rate of earnings

Any return to work by a worker where she is earning the same rate of wages as her average weekly wage at the time of injury, wage-loss benefits will be suspended. If a loss of earnings reoccurs because of decreased earning ability or layoff, benefits may be reinstated.

Return to work at a lower rate of earnings

Any return to work by a worker where she is earning a rate of pay that is less than the average weekly wage at the time of injury, wage-loss benefits will be reduced to partial disability benefits and limited to five hundred (500) weeks. Partial disability benefits are 2/3 (66.7%) of the difference between the average weekly wage at the time of injury and current gross weekly earnings.

Settlement

A lump sum settlement may be negotiated and approved by an ALJ. This settlement may be a structured annuity with periodic guaranteed payments or a single lump sum payment. Despite settlement, the payment of medical benefits may remain the responsibility of an insurance carrier.

Bad faith related to job referrals

An insurance carrier may attempt to modify benefits based upon referring suitable, available jobs to a worker and the worker acting in bad faith. If a worker does not make an effort to apply for these referred positions, the insurance carrier may petition for the reduction of benefits. This petition may request a reduction of benefits to partial status (500 weeks of compensation) and calculate the amount of benefits as if the worker had obtained the suggested job.

Death

Death ends the payment of wage-loss benefits but may not typically end specific-loss benefits.

Since James Powell, Sr., founded Powell Law, our attorneys have represented all types of workers in workers’ compensation cases for 112 years since 1906. Our decades of experience make us the clear and obvious choice for representation in workers’ compensation matters in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and surrounding areas. At Powell Law, we effectively assist clients throughout the entire workers’ compensation claims process. Consult an experienced Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney. Contact Powell Law at (570) 961-0777. The consultation is FREE!

 

 

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