WORKERS' COMPENSATION

PRIMARY BENEFITS

  

 The primary benefits provided by the Workers' Compensation statute include medical benefits, indemnity wage benefits and permanent disability benefits.  Workers' compensation law does not provide for compensatory or punitive damages.

 Medical benefits include reasonable and necessary medical care relating to the covered accident.  For covered accidents, the employer must provide the worker with a panel of at least three physicians.  The selected panel physician typically becomes responsible for future medical treatment and referrals to specialists. 

 Wage benefits are calculated at two-thirds of a worker's average weekly wage.  For most persons, the average weekly wage is calculated by dividing a employee's earning over the past 52 weeks of work.  The maximum weekly wage benefit, known as the average weekly wage of the Commonwealth, is calculated on an annual basis.  The maximum cumulative wage benefit is limited to 500 weeks.  If a worker is partially incapacitated and not offered light duty by his employer, he still has the obligation to seek work that is consistent with his medical restrictions.

 Permanent disability benefits include monetary awards for a total or partial/percentage loss of the use or functionality of limbs, appendages and other body parts as specified by statute.  The permanent disability award is calculated in terms of an additional weekly award based on statutory chart values.

 Additional benefits may be payable for vocational rehabilitations, medication expenses, mileage, and death benefits.