PA Workers’ Compensation- Top 5 Myths

There are many myths about Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation issues. I hear them every day. I wanted to share my thoughts about these to help set the record straight from my 16 years of experience.

1.   Myth:  My Neighbor Got $100,000 for His Settlement, So I Should Too

Fact:  No two cases are identical. There are so many factors that distinguish cases. For example, what’s the average weekly wage and comp rate, the age of the claimant, the diagnoses, the accepted injuries in the controlling document, is there is an IME report challenging the treating doctor’s findings, if there is litigation, who is the Judge, has an earning power been established, etc etc etc.  It is a waste of time to consider what another person received for their settlement. Talk to your attorney about the value of your case, given the facts of your case.

2.   Myth:  The IME Doctor Will Side Against Me

Fact: Not always. While they tend to be quite biased in many cases, I’ve seen plenty of fair and balanced IME reports which acknowledge a work-related injury and disability. Don’t jump to conclusions.

3.   Myth: Most People On Work Comp Don’t Want to Work

Fact:  I’ve seen, interviewed, and fought for hundreds of injured workers for many years. I am able to line up their sentiments with their medical records and see them testify under oath- I get a very good sense of people and pretty quickly. Very few have indicated or shown a propensity to simply want to coast on work comp- most injured workers don’t enjoy being at home, out of work, and in pain. You lose money while on work comp- you don’t make it.

4.   Myth: If I Get Fired, I Cannot Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Fact: Not true. If the firing was for willful misconduct, then the insurer/employer will likely argue that any wage loss benefits payable should cease. However, that’s not easy to prove. If an injured worker is laid off and has work-related restrictions, a reinstatement of benefits is due. A termination of employment does NOT end a workers’ compensation case.

5.   Myth: Since I Am on Workers Comp, My Health Insurance Cannot Be Terminated

Fact:  Unfortunately, this is not true. The fact that a claim has been accepted or is being paid, does not mean that an Employer has to keep health insurance going. In many cases, it stops soon after the employee stops working, with a COBRA notice going out where applicable. The work comp insurance for the accepted work-related injuries continues until a full recovery is found by a Judge or until a case is settled, but the regular health insurance is not something the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act covers.

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PA Workers Comp- The IME Doctor Claims I Am Recovered But I Am Not- What Should I Do?

This scenario happens frequently in Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation cases. Why? Well, the insurer/employer is permitted an “Independent Medical Exam” every 6 months and they often send you to doctors who will have a propensity to opine that you’re recovered from the work-related injury and/or that any ongoing disability may be real but related to non- work related problems such as degenerative arthritis. A full recovery opinion will generate a Petition to Terminate your benefits and you’ll be in Court quickly.

First, make sure you retain an experienced, Certified PA Work Comp Lawyer. The Judges will tell you at the first hearing, if you’re not represented, that it’s HIGHLY recommended. It’s nearly impossible to litigate a case properly unless you’re an attorney. PA Workers’ Compensation has become quite complicated and technical. Moreover, it’s costly to obtain a doctor’s deposition which is necessary in most cases- let alone knowing how to take a deposition, knowing the rules of evidence, etc.

Another good idea to is schedule an appointment with your treating doctor. Take the IME report with you so your physician can review it and perhaps comment on it in their treatment notes. In this regard, your doctor make have different findings upon examination and we can utilize this to cross examine their expert when it comes time for a deposition.

You may receive a “Job Offer” letter from the employer if you’re still employed there. This can cause great anxiety as to whether to attempt the job or not. Speak to your attorney about this situation immediately upon receipt of any such letter.

A hearing will be scheduled after the Petition to Terminate is filed by the insurer/employer. The first stage of the case is called “Supersedeas” and you’ll need to speak to your PA Work Comp Attorney to determine what evidence you will submit at the first proceeding. This stage of the case is critical because if you lose then your checks stop or get reduced as the litigation unfolds over the next months thereafter.

Most importantly, do NOT panic. Remember, a doctor’s opinion is just that- an Opinion. It’s not a fact. Only you know how you feel. But hopefully your treating doctor will be on your side. If he or she isn’t, then speak to your attorney about seeing a new physician immediately.

Call Cardamone Law 7 days a week at (215) 206-9068 or email

All We Do Is Workers Comp- and Only for Injured Workers. There are virtually no other firms with 100% dedication to PA Workers Compensation.


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Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp- Vocational Assessments

If you’re an injured worker who receives Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp benefits, at some point, the insurer may request a “vocational interview”.  This begins the process whereby the insurer tries to establish an earning power. They must first confirm that the pre- injury employer cannot accommodate your restrictions, before undertaking the vocational assessment (sometimes referred to as a “Labor Market Survey” or “Earning Power Assessment”). The vocational interview tends to last about 45 minutes or so. I attend these with my clients to make sure the questions are appropriate and relevant. Then the expert tries to find jobs within the injured worker’s geographical region that fit within the vocational and physical abilities of the injured worker. A report gets generated listing the specific jobs that are allegedly available. It lists the alleged earning power of the injured worker, and soon thereafter a Petition to Modify or Suspend benefits is filed- putting the case before a Workers’ Compensation Judge.

There are many ways to defend a Petition to Modify or Suspend benefits. Call or email me 7 days a week to discuss your case- no fees can be charged in any work comp case without a court order so there must be litigation or a settlement for a a work comp attorney to get paid. In other words- you’ll get advice without having to send us any money. (215) 206-9068 or

Every injured worker must realize that the goal of the work comp insurer is to pay AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE.  So they aggressively use the tools available to them under the PA Workers Comp Act to challenge benefits. The Vocational Assessment is a common way to challenge benefits. It is not a wise decision to fight the insurer alone. They are receiving legal advice from attorneys and you should too. Your loss of earning power may be significant and permanent and you won’t want to have your checks reduced merely because you failed to “lawyer up”. This area of the PA Work Comp Act is very technical and you will want a Certified PA Work Comp Specialist to maximize your chances at defending against a reduction in your weekly or bi-weekly checks.

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Workers’ Compensation Attorney Philadelphia: Cardamone Law Has Quickly Become A Force

Cardamone Law is a specialized boutique firm solely for injured workers. With offices in Blue Bell, Philadelphia, Exton, Lancaster, and the Lehigh Valley- it helps injured workers in Eastern and Central Pennsylvania. Owned by experienced and Certified Work Comp Specialist, Michael W. Cardamone, Cardamone Law was formed in 2013 to focus 100% of its practice on injured workers. Virtually every other firm in PA that touts itself as a “Workers’ Compensation Firm” handles other types of law such as social security or personal injury. Cardamone Law, however, only handles workers’ compensation cases for injured workers.

Cardamone Law garnered a lot of attention from the radio ad on 94 WIP the flagship station of the Philadelphia Eagles. Cardamone was the voice of the ad, further distinguishing him from competitors who used “professional” voices. Cardamone Law is an intimate firm that provides unparalleled attention to detail and passion. Injured workers with serious injuries are turning to the firm so that Attorney Cardamone can handle their cases from scratch rather than being shuffled around to different attorneys in the same firm.

Attorney Cardamone was recently selected to the Best Attorneys of America by Rue Rating and the Top 100 In Pennsylvania by The National Advocates. He is a committee member of The National Advocates along with some well known attorneys featured on CNN such as Gloria Allred and Mark Geragos.

Work Related Injuries are often life changing. Choose a firm that has your back from start to finish, that focuses 100% of its practice on Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation.

(215) 206-9068

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Cardamone Law- PA Work Comp Settlements

Cardamone Law has settled millions of dollars of workers’ compensation cases for injured workers in the past year. We’re a unique firm dedicated 100% to injured workers with 100% of our practice being Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Law. Many of our settlements were over $200,000.00.  We focus on each case and maximize the outcomes. Attorney Cardamone is a Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialize with 16 years of work comp litigation behind him. He carefully reviews each case and makes sure his clients are treating with the best and most credible physicians possible.

Free Consults 7 days a week. For more PA Work Comp Settlement info

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Philadelphia Workers Comp Attorney- Case Law Update Regarding Pension Offset

In Stepp v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (No. 2270 C.D. 2013, filed September 10, 2014), the Commonwealth Court decided whether an employer may take an offset against a claimant’s workers’ compensation benefits under Section 204 (a) of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act for pension benefits funded by its wholly-owned subsidiary. Unfortunately, the answer is yes.

Claimant began working for Marianna Scenery Hill Telephone Company in January 1973. In 2000, FairPoint acquired Marianna. Claimant continued to be an employee of Marianna, but the human resources department for all employees of all FairPoint subsidiaries was managed by FairPoint. It appeared that all employees in the FairPoint “family of subsidiaries” were covered by the same workers’ compensation plan or policy.

Claimant argued that the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board and Judge erred in granting FairPoint an offset for Claimant’s pension under Section 204 (a) of the Act because Marianna funded the pension plan. Claimant argues that FairPoint is not entitled to an offset for a pension plan funded by a different , but still existing, corporation.

In 1996, the legislature, in an effort to combat rising workers’ compensation costs, amended 204 (a) of the Act to allow employers an offset against workers’ compensation benefits for social security, severance, and pension benefits simultaneously received by an employee.  Note that the Court reminded us that the party seeking to change the status quo in a workers’ compensation case bears the burden of proof. Here, it’s the employer’s burden.

Claimant did not challenge the factual finding of the WCJ (Workers’ Compensation Judge- at the initial level) that Marianna funded 95.71% of Claimant’s pension. Instead, Claimant asserted that the Board erred because FairPoint, not Marianna, is “directly liable” for the payment of his workers comp benefits. As such, the argument is that only Marianna, no FairPoint, is entitled to the Section 204 (a) offset.

The Court pointed to Section 1929 of the Business Corporation Law of 1998 to highlight that when corporations merge, the surviving corporation succeeds to both the rights and liabilities of the constituent corporation. While this wasn’t a merger governed by Section 1929, the principles have direct application pursuant to prior case law. (LTV Steel Co., 754 A.2d 666).

As a practitioner who represents injured workers, I want to disagree with this case. However, and unfortunately, I believe the Court decided it correctly.

For more information about Pennsylvania Workers Comp, call or email Certified Work Comp Specialist, Michael Cardamone of The Cardamone Law Firm, LLC 7 days a week at (215) 206-9068 or

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Case Law Update: Can An Injured Worker Be Compensated For Ayurvedic Medical Treatment When Not Prescribed By A Licensed Pennsylvania Health Care Practitioner?

No. The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, in a recent Opinion, (Babu v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board) has ruled that an injured worker- even though a nurse herself, cannot be reimbursed for Ayurvedic treatment she underwent in India because it was not done vis-a-vis a referral or under the supervision of a licensed Pennsylvania health care practitioner.

The Court rejected the Claimant’s allegation that she herself was a supervising Pennsylvania health care practitioner. The Court noted that there was no evidence that Claimant was trained in massage therapy or that she exercised supervisory control over the practitioners in India.

This is a bad case for injured workers in Pennsylvania. The seminal issues should be whether the treatment is “reasonable, necessary, and related” to the accepted work injury. Claimant, to her credit, was trying an alternative form of medicine to get some relief from her work-related symptoms. What happens when a claimant goes out of state because a spouse changed jobs? Can the claimant now not get medical treatment if the provider isn’t licensed in Pennsylvania? That’s never been enforced before as far as I recall- as long as the provider bills the treatment on the prescribed forms in Pennsylvania, the treatment gets paid. Health practitioners like nurses, should be given some slack with supervising, to an extent, their own condition.

Let’s hope this Decision gets appealed and that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court takes the case.

For more information about Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation, call experienced and Certified Attorney Michael Cardamone of The Cardamone Law Firm, LLC 7 days a week at (215) 206-9068 or email

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