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If you sustained an on the job injury at your place of employment in Pennsylvania, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ comp is a state-mandated, no-fault program designed to help injured parties financially while they heal. Because the system is no-fault, insurers must pay out benefits without question. In exchange, employees give up their rights to sue their employers for benefits workers’ comp does not typically offer. With that in mind, what damages does workers’ compensation cover?

According to FindLaw, though state laws vary regarding mandatory and available workers’ comp benefits, most carriers cover the most basic costs. Basic expenses workers’ compensation covers include the following:

  • Lost income
  • Medical expenses for the work-related injury
  • Professional rehabilitation costs
  • Compensation for permanent injuries
  • Death benefits to survivors of workers killed on the job

Workers’ compensation does not typically cover non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, mental distress or loss of enjoyment of life. These types of damages are available via typical personal injury claims, but you likely forfeited your rights to them when you accepted your terms of employment.

Under workers’ compensation law, you will receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage up until a fixed maximum amount. Many injured parties believe this to be unfair, but you have to remember that the IRS does not tax these benefits.

Workers’ compensation also covers long-term disabilities and occupational diseases and conditions. For instance, if you developed carpal tunnel after working as a cashier for 20 years, your employer may have to cover the cost of associated medical treatment, rehabilitation and, if medical intervention is unsuccessful, long-term disability benefits.

This content is for educational purposes only. You should not use it as legal advice.