Now that you may be on Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation benefits, you will naturally wonder when will your weekly or bi- weekly checks stop. Here are the most common scenarios:
Workers’ Compensation Judge Finds a Full Recovery
Here, the insurer’s/employer’s attorney will file a Petition to Terminate benefits alleging that a doctor, whether theirs or yours, has opined that you’ve made a full recovery from your work-related injuries. The case will be litigated and both sides can present their evidence. If you lose, the checks will stop upon the Court Order finding a recovery.
Workers’ Compensation Judge Finds an Earning Power Equal To or Exceeding Your Pre-Injury Earning Power
Here, the insurer’s/employer’s attorney will file a Petition to Suspend benefits alleging that you have your pre-injury earning power back. This doesn’t affect medical benefits, only wage loss benefits. The case will be litigated and both sides can present their evidence. If you lose, the checks will stop upon the Court Order finding that you have your pre-injury earning power back. In this scenario, you will either be working and making the same or more as your pre-injury Average Weekly Wage, or a Judge will find that you could be earning the same or more as your pre-injury Average Weekly Wage, whether that be a job with the pre-injury employer that was offered, or from a Labor Market Survey/Vocational Assessment.
Failure to Send Back LIBC Reporting Forms Within 30 Days
Periodically, the insurer will send you forms to fill out. They are called LIBC forms. They will ask about your work status, whether you’re receiving any benefits like Unemployment Comp, Severance, Social Security Old Age benefits, or a Pension, whether you’re physical condition has changed, etc. If you don’t fill them out and send them back within 30 days, the insurer can stop your checks until they’re sent back.
Incarceration After a Conviction
If you have been incarcerated after a conviction of a crime, the insurer can stop your Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation checks. So if an injured worker served time prior to a conviction, it doesn’t count. It must be after a conviction.
A Settlement Has Been Reached and Approved
Many injured workers will settle their entire case for a lump sum payment in a Compromise and Release Agreement. If the injured worker is receiving work comp wage loss benefits, those benefits will normally cease as of the day prior to the Compromise and Release Hearing at which the Judge approves the settlement. There are some cases where wage loss benefits will continue by agreement of the parties.
Death for Reasons Unrelated to Work Injury
If an injured workers dies for a reason unrelated to the work injury, the workers’ compensation checks will cease.
If You Refuse to Attend an Independent Medical Exam or Refuse Reasonable Treatment
Sometimes, a Judge can suspend your wage loss benefits if you miss an Independent Medical Exam, or if your doctor offers treatment that has a high likelihood of helping your condition and you decline.
The above scenarios are the most common ways that an injured worker’s wage loss benefits will stop in a Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation case. For more information, always feel free to contact us for a free analysis of your case. (215) 206-9068, 7 Days a Week.