Pennsylvania workers who are hurt due to a workplace injury have the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits under state law. Ideally, a workers’ compensation judge will approve your benefits and you may begin the process of recovery and prepare your return to the workforce. In the event a judge denies your request, you can appeal the decision, but you must do so without much delay.
According to the state Department of Labor & Industry website, if a workers’ compensation judge turns down your request for benefits, you may file an appeal with the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board. The board shall decide if the initial decision by the judge to deny you benefits was supported by the available evidence or not. The board may also rule whether the judge misapplied the law in making the decision.
However, you must act within a certain time frame if you wish to appeal. The government provides a span of twenty days in which you must file your appeal. Specifically, you have twenty calendar days, not business days, so weekends count as well. However, if the twentieth day is a Sunday or a holiday, the government allows your filing to occur by the following day.
Keeping this time frame in mind, you should also know how you may file an appeal on your case. If you feel pressed by the clock, you might think you can email or fax your appeal to the appeal board to get it in quickly. However, the board does not accept emails or faxes. You would have to file your appeal through regular mail or through the state Workers’ Compensation Automation and Integration System (WCAIS).
Since time is a factor, discussing appeal options with your attorney ahead of time may save you from having to prepare an appeal while pressed for time. Injured workers may also learn how to properly file their appeal so that the review board will accept the appeal without a problem.