In Pennsylvania, workers' compensation benefit changes may occur by modification, suspension or termination. Modifications and suspensions relate to wage loss benefits only. Terminations can affect both wage loss and medical benefits. If an employer or insurer has asked you to attend an independent medical exam (IME), an impairment rating evaluation (IRE) or to see a vocational expert in regards to your benefits, they are seeking to change your benefits.
Answers To Your Questions About Benefit Changes
At Wolf, Baldwin & Associates, P.C., our attorneys can help you understand what your rights are, what the law says, and how the workers' compensation claims process works in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. More importantly, we can help you retain the benefits you have received for your work-related injury or illness.
Modifications And Suspensions
When can workers' compensation wage loss benefits be modified or suspended? Benefits can be modified or suspended if you return to work in some capacity, or if your employer offers you a job within your medical restrictions. Benefits can also be changed or suspended after 104 weeks of receiving temporary total disability workers' compensation wage loss benefits if an employer or workers' compensation carrier can show (by way of an IRE) that you are less than 50 percent total body impaired under the American Medical Association's Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. In effect, this will limit your benefits to a total of 500 weeks.
If you have received a "Notice of Ability to Return to Work" form, it means that your employer believes you have a change of condition which may mean that you are capable of returning to work in some capacity. This does not mean that your benefits will automatically change. These cases are very fact-specific, and you should take advantage of a full, free consultation with one of our lawyers to discuss your specific situation.
How can medical and wage loss benefits be terminated? Both types of benefits can be terminated if an IME doctor gives the opinion that you are fully recovered and fit to return to work — even if your doctor says that you are not yet fully recovered. Our lawyers have the experience, know-how and resources it takes to protect your rights in this situation. In fact, two of our lawyers are certified as workers' comp specialists by the Pennsylvania Bar Association's section on Workers' Compensation Law as authorized by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Related Articles For Further Information
- "Terminating Workers' Compensation Medical Benefits"
- "Typical Strategies for Stopping Workers' Compensation Claims"
Workers' Compensation Help Is Here
Offices in Pottstown, West Chester and Reading, Pennsylvania
Local: 610-228-4582 | Toll Free: 866-967-8935
Do not let your workers' compensation benefits change without a fight. If you live in southeastern Pennsylvania and have received a notification of modification, suspension or termination from your employer or its workers' comp insurance provider — call our offices directly or contact our lawyers online for a free consultation.
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