What Benefits am I Entitled to—Part 3 Total v. Partial Disability

By: Eric D. Abes

If you have been injured at work, you may be entitle to indemnity benefits, a fancy way of saying lost wages. There are two types of lost wages benefits: total disability and partial disability. Total disability means that your doctor has restricted you for all work. Partial disability means that you are capable of doing some work.

Total disability benefits are paid according to a formula dictated by the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, approximately two-thirds or your pre-injury earnings. Benefits are capped at $978.00 per week (as of 2016). Low wage earners are entitled to a higher percentage of their pre-injury income.

These benefits are theoretically payable for life, however, the insurance company for your employer has many legal options to limit or end your benefits. Your employer may send you for an examination to attempt to prove you are capable of working. Also, once you have received 104 weeks of total disability, your employer may send you to a doctor to determine your level of disability according to the American Medical Association. If your level is less than 50%, your benefits would be limited to 500 weeks.

If your doctors think you can work a light duty job for a lower wage, and work is available, you would be entitled to two-thirds of the difference between your pre-injury earnings and your light duty earnings. These benefits are subject to a maximum of $978.00 (as of 2016). Partial disability is capped at 500 weeks of benefits.

If you have been hurt at work contact Abes Baumann to make sure you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to under the law.



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