Attorney Gregory Discusses PA Workers’ Compensation Changes Post the Protz Decision
What are the most important facts you need to know concerning coverage under PA Workers’ Compensation?
Recent Changes to the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Law by Attorney Bill Gregory of RG Injury Law
In the second piece of this series, we will update you on the always evolving law and how it may impact your Workers’ Compensation rights.
Post Protz Changes
- Several years ago our Supreme Court in Protz (Protz v. WCAB (Derry Area School District), No. 6 WAP 2016, 7 WAP 2017 (Pa. June 20, 2017) changed the constitutionality of the longstanding impairment rating system of the Workers’ Compensation law. For years, after an injured worker had received 104 weeks of Compensation benefits, the insurance company could Compel the injured worker to undergo an examination to determine a percentage of impairment (based upon the current version of the American Medical Association guidelines to impairment). If the impairment rating examination (IRE) yielded a rate below 50%, wage loss benefits were reduced to a maximum receipt of 500 weeks; if the IRE were above 50%, wage loss benefits continued for life. The Court in Protz, in essence, eliminated the IRE process. Recently Act 111 was enacted which revived the IRE process. Unfortunately, the fallout from this newly-established law is yet to be determined. Stay tuned as I smell another challenge to Act 111.
Our Commonwealth Court in Whitfield v. WCAB (Tenet Health System Hahnemann LLC),188 A.3d 599 (Pa.Cmwlth. 2018) held that a petition which seeks to reinstate Workers’ Compensation benefits after an IME is timely if the petition was filed within three years of the last payment of wage loss benefits to the injured worker, however, the burden of reinstatement is on the injured worker (who must show the injury continues), but the injured Workers’ employer is allowed to present contrary evidence.
- Our Commonwealth Court also recently decided in Timcho v. WCAB (City of Philadelphia), No. 158 C.D. 2017 (Pa.Cmwlth. August 17, 2018), that an injured worker who has already undergone the IRE process and has been determined to be less than 50% disabled, may raise the constitutionality of the IRE process, as long as it is raised during the 500 week period of partial disability benefits which the injured worker is receiving. The injured worker bears the burden of proving that benefits should be reinstated to total temporary disability benefits as he or she would normally under a reinstatement petition.
If you are worried about your PA Workers’ Compensation claim or appeal, especially those impacted by the Protz decision, call for a free case review if you have questions about the full coverage of your wage loss benefits or payment of your future medical bills through Workers’ Compensation benefits. Contact Bill Gregory, recognized as one of the top injury and disability lawyers in Pennsylvania who knows how to help victims of workplace injuries, people with disabilities, veterans and their families after a work-related disability, injury, illness, or death has impacted your life. Call us for a no-pressure, Workers’ Compensation benefits consultation at 717.656.5000.
You may think you need a Workers Compensation attorney in Philadephia to win your Workers’ Comp case. However, our winning record is the result of personalized attention and communication with clients, thorough knowledge of Workers’ Compensation law in Pennsylvania, former insurance insider’s experience. While we call Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, our home, personal injury law firm fight for clients with injuries and disabilities in need of personal injury lawyers, Social Security SSDI and SSI, Workers’ Compensation lawyers, and/or veterans seeking VA Disability Compensation lawyers throughout the mid-Atlantic region from offices in Lancaster County that include service in Harrisburg, Hershey, Middletown, Annville, Mt. Gretna, Elizabethtown, Columbia PA,Lancaster City, Neffsville, Hempfield Township, Manheim Borough, Manor Township, Manheim Township, Gap, Ephrata, Lititz, Leola, Mt. Joy, Marietta, Akron, Denver, Millersville, Willow Street, Strasburg, New Holland, Paradise, Refton, Quarryville, Reamstown, West Chester, Coatesville, Exton, King of Prussia, and Malvern. RG Injury Law also fights for people with disabilities in the counties of Lebanon, Philadelphia, Chester, York, Dauphin, Berks, and Montgomery.
They really made me feel like I was a priority.
★★★★★ Bill Gregory and his team were top notch throughout the course of my workers compensation case. Bill, his paralegal, Karin, and office assistant, Jen, were compassionate, thoughtful, and diligent as they worked to get me a fair settlement for my case. All communication was prompt and thorough and they were all knowledgeable with the content and subject matter of this area of law. I was especially pleased with how patient they were with me and all my many emails and phone calls. They really made me feel like I was a priority. I would recommend this law firm to anyone in need of assistance in a workers compensation case.