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Are There Time Limits to Get Benefits After Workplace Accidents?

Goldstein Heslop Steele Clapper Oswalt & Smith Dec. 10, 2021

When a Pennsylvania worker suffers an injury or occupational illness on the job, there will be an expectation that he or she can get workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits are crucial so the workers can stay financially solvent and get the medical help necessary to get back on the job. However, when seeking workers’ compensation benefits after workplace accidents, there are fundamental factors that should be considered. One key issue to remember is the time limits when seeking benefits.

Except in instances where the employer is aware of the injury or the employee has given notice to an employer within 21 days of suffering the injury, there will be no workers’ compensation until the injured worker has given that notice. It is necessary for the notice to have been given within 120 days after the injury has happened. If not, the workers’ compensation is not given. Should a worker’s benefits be denied, there will be three years from the date when the injury occurred to file a claim petition.

When the worker is suffering from an occupational disease, it must have come about within 300 weeks form the date the worker was last employed in the job where there was exposure to the hazard that led to the occupational disease. For there to be a petition, it must be filed within three years from the date the injury or disability came into effect.

If a worker does not file the petition within the required time frame, he or she might not be able to get benefits. For those who had their benefits terminated, it is possible to file a petition to have them reinstated within three years from the date in which the last workers’ compensation check was received. For those who had their benefits suspended, a petition can be filed for reinstatement. This must be filed within 500 weeks from the date the suspension went into effect. If an employer is paying medical benefits, it does not indicate that the claim was accepted or that it was reopened.

When workers are injured in workplace accidents or have suffered occupational diseases, they might make the mistake of thinking they will automatically get their workers’ compensation benefits and everything will simply work itself out. That is not the case. Time limits must not be ignored whether it is an issue related to getting the benefits or seeking reinstatement of benefits. A law firm that is experienced in helping those who have suffered workplace accidents can be of assistance with a case at any juncture and in all circumstances.