Pennsylvania Act 534 and Heart and Lung Act- Facts You Need To Know

Here is some important info about Pennsylvania’s Act 534 and the Heart and Lung Act:

-An employee eligible for Act 534 or Heart and Lung Benefits is entitled to full, base salary. The employer pays the salary.  Work comp benefits that may be payable are either paid directly  to the employer by the insurer or must be turned over by the injured worker to the employer (ie, State).

-You may have a Pennsylvania Work Comp claim but not an Act 534 or Heart & Lung Act claim. For a Heart and Lung claim to be available, the injury must occur during the performance of one’s duties. Under Act 534, the injury must be due to “an act of any inmate or any person confined in such institution.”

-You have the right to a DUE PROCESS hearing. If you are covered under the Heart and Lung Act or Act 534, you are entitled to a due process hearing if your benefits are denied or prior to any termination of benefits.

-Unlike Pennsylvana Work Comp cases, there is no notice requirement (ie, a time limit imposed for informing your employer about what happened) nor a statute of limitation (a time limit for when you must file a claim) for a claim under Heart and Lung and Act 534.  In Pennsylvania Work Comp cases, an injured worker has three years to file a claim or he/she is forever barred.

For more information about the Heart and Lung Act in Pennsylvania or Act 534, call or email experienced Pennsylvania attorney Michael W. Cardamone of The Cardamone Law Firm at 215-206-9068 or MyPhillyWorkersComp@Gmail.com  for a free and prompt analysis of your case.

Heart and Lung and Act 534 Lawyer Pennsylvania

Who Are My Clients?

Michael W. Cardamone, Esquire represents injured workers across Pennsylvania. His clients include:
Septa Workers

Union Workers

Nurses

Certified Nursing Assistants

Truck Drivers

Factory Workers

Construction Workers

Office Workers

Bus Drivers

State Workers

Masons

Waiters and Waitresses

Carpenters

Mechanics

Retail Workers

Pharmacists

Engineers

Secretaries

School Teachers

Remember–  traumatic work injuries (ie, sudden onset) and repetitive work injuries (ie, accumulation of trauma over time) are compensable in Pennsylvania. An aggravation of a pre-existing condition is a work injury under Pennsylvania Law.

For more information about Pennsylvania Work Comp, call Attorney Michael W. Cardamone at 215-206-9068 or email mcardamone@krasno.com

7 days a week!

Workers Comp Lawyer in Philadelphia

My Notice Of Compensation Payable Doesn’t Have The Correct Description Of My Work Injury- What Should I Do?

The simply answer is: speak with an experienced Pennsylvania Work Comp Lawyer.

Once you are injured at work and give notice of your injury to your employer, the workers’ compensation carrier or third party administrator (which is like an insurance company but they don’t spend their own money) has 21 days to issue an acceptance of your claim, a temporary acceptance, or a denial. If your claim is accepted, the document you will receive is a Notice of Compensation Payable or a Temporary Notice of Compensation Payable. If you look at the upper left hand corner of the document, you will see a heading called “Injury Information“.  Under that, there will be “Body part (s) affected” and “Type of injury” listed. Because it issued unilaterally and within a 21 day period (often, it’s much later than this but let’s be kind and assume the insurer does the right thing- hypothetically speaking), the injury is usually minimized. For example, with a back injury, we typically see “lumbar sprain/strain” as the description of the injury. In many cases, an injured worker finds out, after an MRI or EMG study, that her injury is more severe.  But the insurer or TPA can point to the Notice of Compensation Payable- which is the controlling document until challenged successfully in court, and deny medical bills that cover treatment for diagnoses other than a “sprain” or “strain”.

It is this very dynamic that causes an enormous amount of litigation in Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation cases. Think about it- if the injury is labeled a “strain”, it will be much easier for a panel doctor or “Independent Medical Examiner” (we all know they are hand picked and not “independent”)  to conclude the injured worker is fully recovered. Likewise, if the employer makes a job offer to an injured worker, under the pretense that the injury was a minor strain or sprain, the judge is more likely to believe the job is within the physical capabilities of the injured worker. Or, if an insurer denies a medical bill for treatment which calls the injury “lumbar radiculopathy“, it will have a leg to stand on if the NCP says the injury was merely a strain or sprain.

The way to stave off some or all of these circumstances is to hire a PA Work Comp Lawyer and have him or her file a Petition to Review to challenge the injury description. The litigation is expensive and sometimes lasts for six to twelve months (in my office, we cover all the costs so our clients pay nothing), but if the description of the injury is successfully challenged, the value of the case is enhanced- sometimes dramatically.

It may not seem fair that the employer/insurer/tpa can unilaterally decide what to call the injury. But this is the law in Pennsylvania. In some cases, the insurer will pay for treatment even if the diagnoses do not correlate 100%. But many injured workers get lulled into a false sense of security only to later be confronted with multiple petitions which are all grounded in the notion that the injury was a mere contusion or strain versus something more insidious such as a fracture or herniation.

The decision whether to forge ahead and challenge the description of injury is one that should be discussed with a PA Work Comp Attorney. There can also be Medicare implications too when settlement is discussed.

For more information about Notice of Compensation Payables, injury description, or Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation in general, call or email Michael Cardamone at 215-206-9068 or MyPhillyWorkersComp@Gmail.com for a free consult.

Pennsylvania Work Comp Attorney

The Cardamone Law Firm

The Firm For Injured Workers In Pennsylvania