How Does A Notice Of Temporary Compensation Payable Work In Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation?

Under Section 406 of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, if an employer is uncertain whether a claim is compensable or uncertain of the extent of liability, they can initiate compensation payments without prejudice and without admitting liability pursuant to a Notice of Temporary Compensation Payable (“NTCP”) on a form as prescribed by the Department of Labor and Industry.

This is a common occurrence as the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act only gives the employer/insurer 21 day to accept, deny, or temporarily accept a claim- and it can take some time to investigate. The NTCP entitles claimant (the injured worker) to a maximum of ninety days of compensation.

It is important to note that the NTCP does not mean the employer is accepting responsibility for the work-related injury. It can revoke the NTCP by issuing a Notice Stopping and a Notice of Denial during the 90 day period as long as they are filed no later than five days after the last payment. If the employer does not file the Notice within the ninety day period during which temporary compensation is paid or payable, the employer shall be deemed to have admitted liability and the notice of temporary compensation payable shall be converted to a notice of compensation payable. A Notice of Compensation Payable is a document, similar to a NTCP, but which accepts liability for a work injury, whether for medical benefits alone, or medical and wage loss benefits. With the conversion, an NCP isn’t issued- it’s just that the original NTCP converts by operation of law. Therefore, it is important to keep track of the timeline- and it is recommended that an injured worker seek legal guidance as the rules are quite technical in this regard.

If a Notice Stopping is filed, it is very important to get a consult immediately with an experienced PA Work Comp Attorney so that the proper petition can be filed to pursue the benefits in response. Even if a Notice Stopping isn’t filed, you will want your case analyzed to make sure the proper diagnoses are recognized by the insurer/employer. It is very common for the employer/insurer to accept a “strain” or a “contusion” when the injuries are frequently much more serious.

If you have received a Notice of Temporary Compensation Payable, or a Notice Stopping, a Notice of Denial, or a Notice of Compensation Payable, fee free to contact Certified Work Comp Attorney, Michael W. Cardamone 7 days a week at (215) 206-9068 for a free consult or email myphillyworkerscomp@gmail.com  These documents can be confusing and Attorney Cardamone will be happy to explain them and apply them to your situation.

The Cardamone Law Firm, LLC

100% Work Comp

100% For Injured Workers

 

The Cardamone Law Firm, LLC Opens Chester County Office For Injured Workers

The Cardamone Law Firm, LLC– a specialized Pennsylvania Work Comp boutique firm founded by Attorney Michael W. Cardamone and dedicated 100% to the strong representation of injured workers in Pennsylvania, has opened its third office- in Exton, PA to help serve its growing client base. With a main office in Blue Bell, PA, and satellite offices in Center City Philadelphia and now Exton, The Cardamone Law Firm, LLC is conveniently located to represent injured workers in Easter and Central, Pennsylvania. The Exton office address is:

Eagleview Corporate Center

600 Eagleview Blvd

Suite 300

Exton, PA 19341

 

The Cardamone Law Firm, LLC

100% Work Comp

100% For Injured Workers

 

Wetzel v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Parkway Service Station)- Does An Injured Worker Abandon His Employment When Injured On Employer’s Premises While Trying To Stop A Criminal From Leaving The Premises After An Attempted Robbery?

No. The Commonwealth Court, in a well reasoned Opinion dated May 27, 2014, (No. 1693 C.D. 2013)  has ruled that the Decedent in this case did not abandon his employment when trying to stop an individual from leaving the premises after an attempted robbery when he was run over by the criminal. The Court reversed the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (WCAB) below who ruled that the Decedent abandoned his employment and was not furthering the business affairs of Parkway Service Station (Employer) when he was injured while attempting to stop a thief  from leaving the premises after the attempted robbery of the Employer’s store.

Decedent was a management employee at the store. He filed a Claim Petition alleging that as a result of being struck by the vehicle, he sustained work-related severe traumatic brain injury, which rendered him comatose and permanently disabled and incapacitated. (he is now deceased) Employer denied the allegations claiming it wasn’t a work-related injury and that Decedent’s injuries were caused by violating a positive work order (by possessing a gun on Employer’s premises). After significant amounts of testimony on the issue, the Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) found there was no violation of a positive work order. The WCJ also found that decedent was furthering the business affairs of the Employer.

On appeal, the WCAB found that the WCJ erroneously concluded that Decedent was furthering Employer’s business affairs when he was injured, reasoning that the duties of a convenience store manager do not include the pursuit and apprehension of criminal suspects.

The Commonwealth Court, in its Opinion, first reminded us that the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act is remedial in nature and is intended to benefit the worker– and thus must be liberally construed  to effectuate its humanitarian objectives. With this in mind, it is still the Claimant who bears the burden of proving all elements necessary to support an award.

In this case, the Claimant had to prove that the injury occurred in the course and scope of employment. The Court noted that the operative phrase of “actually engaged in the furtherance of the business or affairs of the employer” which is usually expressed as ‘in course of employment’ must similarly be given a liberal construction. The WCJ accepted testimony of employee witnesses that there were many robbery attempts and attacks over the years at the store. Indeed, the Decedent had actually used a firearm to stop an attempted robbery of the store in 2007. While Decedent may have made an error in judgement in approaching the criminal, the WCJ had accepted that his job duties as Employer’s night manager, included securing the safety of his fellow employees and customers.

Importantly, the Commonwealth Court pointed out, the facts demonstrated that Decedent did not attempt to stop the thief from fleeing to further his own interest; instead, they showed he was furthering the interests of the Employer as the thief attempted to take money from the cash register as decedent instantly reacted to a screaming employee by running out of the store to stop the thief from fleeing and was run over when the thief refused to stop.

This is a great case for injured workers as the Commonwealth Court properly used the liberal construction mandate of the Act to analyze the facts of this case resulting in the correct outcome. It was Decedent’s job to protect the store and employees, and there was a history of violence and criminal activity at the store previously. He did not abandon his employment when trying to apprehend the criminal as apprehension of criminals was not something “foreign” to his job duties.

For more information about Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Law, contact Attorney Michael W. Cardamone 7 days a week at (215) 206-9068 or email myphillyworkerscomp@gmail.com

The Cardamone Law Firm, LLC

100% Work Comp

100% For Injured Workers