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If you have a question about Workers Compensation or Social Security, you’ve come to the right place.

We have answered hundreds of questions our clients have asked us over the years right on this site.

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If we do not have your answer, it’s okay. Just pick up the phone and call us at 877-291-9675.


You need to carefully read and get legal advice on the “fine print” of the LTD policy and you need to find out whether you paid the premium, the employer paid the premium or both paid what pro rata percentage of the premium. The WC insurance company is entitled to take a credit (deduction) for the part of the LTD they paid for on a pro rata basis. In other words, if they paid 50% 0f the premiums and you paid 50% of the premiums, every dollar in LTD or Short term disability benefits you collect, the workers’ comp carrier will get a 50 cent reduction on your workers’ compensation payments. The fine print of the LTD policy may have language about additional
credits or deductions. You thus have to be very careful to fully research these issues before you accept LTD in addition to WC.
You also have to be careful when retiring from the time-of-injury employer since the WC insurance company can claim that you have taken yourself out of the workforce and are not entitled to any WC. Sometimes an employer will want you to take LTD in conjunction with a separation from employment. Also, you should understand that the employer may be entitled to further credits from retirement or severance payments. If they contributed to the retirement benefit, then comp is entitled to a pro rata credit against workers’ compensation.
Generally, LTD carriers want you to apply for SSD because their policy will say that they are entitled to pay you less LTD if you are receiving SSD. It may be a good idea for you to receive SSD in addition to WC. WC does not have a credit for SSD; thus, you can receive full WC and, at least, partial SSD. You need to be careful; however, if you are close to retirement age. At that point your SSD will turn into Social Security Retirement (SSR). At that point, the credit situation reverses and WC can deduct 50% of the amount of your SSR from the WC.
Thus, while it is possible to receive WC, LTD and SSD; there may be credits or deductions which could lessen the amount of your WC check. The WC insurance carrier and the LTD carrier will not explain this to you. It is a good idea to get expert legal advice before proceeding. We love to coordinate all of the benefits to the maximum. Timing and wording is vital. Contact us before proceeding alone. We can not put tooth paste back into the tube. Most of the time we cannot undue damage you have already inflicted upon your own benefits. We do not charge you for this advice.


Skeptical with Lots of Questions

“Was skeptical of hiring a lawyer for my workers comp. case, because of a bad experience some years back. As soon as I met with Ron Calhoon, I felt at ease and very informed. He walked me through the process of what needed to be done, and how he was going to handle it. I never felt as though I asked a stupid question as he always took the time to explain what happened or what was going to happen. This man knows his stuff and works endless hours to get you what you deserve.” R. Hyle Carlisle, PA March 2014


When you receive the Notice of Ability to Return to Work, it usually means that a doctor has released you to do work on a modified or light duty basis. Which doctor the form comes from is an important consideration in determining what to do with the Notice. The Notice of Ability to Return to Work does not necessarily mean you must go back to work. Only if your employer offers you work within the medical restrictions attached to the Notice, do you have to respond. The Notice of light duty restrictions alone does not impact your entitlement to wage loss benefits. Many times the source of the medical opinion that you are ready to return to work is the insurance company doctor who has performed an “independent” medical examination (IME).
The Notice, also called the Section 306(b)(3) Notice, must inform the worker with the following information:
• the nature of the worker’s physical condition or change in condition;
• the work restrictions, if any (modified/light duty, hours per day work can be done);
• that the injured worker has an obligation to return to work or look for available employment;
• that proof of available employment that a worker turned down may jeopardize the injured worker’s right to receive ongoing or future benefits;
• and that the injured worker has the right to consult an attorney.
Before a workers’ compensation insurance company can release a worker to return to work for modified duty or file a Petition to Terminate, Modify or Suspend Compensation Benefits, a Notice of Ability to Return to Work form must be issued. If a worker feels that he is unable to work within the guidelines of the Notice of Ability to Work at the time it is received, he should consult with his own doctor for a second evaluation and consult with an attorney regarding the legal considerations of what to do to protect their interest in response to the notice. It is better to be prepared then to pay catch up with tight time constraints in responding to job offers from the employer or Judge’s request for contrary medical opinions. In short, it is merely a form that advises you of some doctors current restrictions. However, it may be used against you in a number of ways.


Claimant was employed as a clerk with Josten’s, Inc in State College, PA. On January 18, 2010, she injured her right shoulder while working, and has been receiving workers’ compensation wage loss benefits for total disability (total earning loss caused by the work injury) through Phoenix Insurance Company.

Employer filed a Modification Petition based on a Labor Market Survey conducted by Mitchell Schmidt, M.Ed. WCJ Robert Vonada in Altoona, PA was assigned to the petition. Claimant argued that Jostens, Inc. had a specific job vacancy available at the time of the vocational interview that Claimant could perform, which was not offered to her, and that the Labor Market Survey could not be used to decrease or stop her workers’ compensation benefits.

Mr. Schmidt had a vocational interview with Claimant, who told Mr. Schmidt she could work if it did not involve pulling or lifting with her right arm. Mr. Schmidt then found clerk, customer service, clerical, front desk, designing, receptionist, hostess and cashier jobs with other local employers which he felt Claimant could perform. However, Claimant felt she could perform the personalization clerk job that Jostens was seeking to hire someone to perform.

Dr. Gregory Billy and Dr. William Prebola testified on behalf of Josten’s, Inc. They said that Claimant could perform the jobs found by Mr. Schmidt with other employers.

WCJ Vonada denied Josten’s Modification Petition, as there was a position with Josten’s between the time of the issuance of the 306(b)(3) Notice Of Ability To Return To Work Form (issued before the vocational interview) and filing of the Modification Petition that Claimant was capable of performing, and it was not offered to Claimant. The Judge ordered that Claimant’s workers’ compensation wage loss benefits were to continue at the total disability rate. The Judge further found an unreasonable contest, and ordered the payment of attorney fees of $2,947.50 to the injured worker, along with costs of litigation.


Yes. As long as your workers’ compensation benefits have been properly accepted, the insurance company cannot stop your checks without a signed agreement or court order. Settlement negotiations are not an exception to that rule. You should continue to receive your checks throughout the whole settlement negotiation process. Your weekly compensation checks will not stop because you made a settlement offer. You will want to hire an experienced Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney to help you navigate a possible settlement. This attorney will be able to explain the pros and cons of settlement of your workers’ compensation case, as well as give you a settlement value. Studies show that injured workers receive much more money with an attorney than without. Once a settlement has been reached in a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation case, a hearing will need to be scheduled in front of a workers’ compensation judge. The settlement paperwork (AKA Compromise and Release documents) will be signed before the hearing with your workers’ compensation attorney explaining the details of the agreement. You will be paid your weekly or biweekly workers’ compensation benefits up until the date of the hearing and then they will stop.

The law firm of Calhoon & Associates represents injured workers and those seeking Social Security Disability throughout Pennsylvania, including but not limited to, Altoona, Harrisburg, Pottsville, Allentown, Reading, Bloomsburg, Easton, Bethlehem, Norristown, Bristol, Williamsport, State College, Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Lancaster, Waynesboro, York and all cities in Bucks County, Chester County, Columbia County, Dauphin County, Delaware County, Lackawanna County, Lancaster County, Lebanon County, Lehigh County, Luzerne County, Lycoming County, Montgomery County, Monroe County, Montour County, Northampton County, Northumberland County, Philadelphia County, Pike County, Schuylkill County, Wyoming County and York County, PA. Our offices are located at 2411 North Front Street, Harrisburg, PA and 14 North Main Street, Suite 300, Chambersburg, PA, and we can arrange for meeting locations at law offices throughout the State.

Calhoon & Associates
2411 North Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110
14 North Main Street
Suite 309
Chambersburg, PA 17201


All Pennsylvania employers are required to have Workers Compensation Insurance with a very few exceptions. Certain large employers can be Self-Insured which means that they have applied to the Bureau of Workers Compensation and have been given a special licence to write their own Workers Compensation policies. All of the Rules and Regulations of the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Law have to be followed. All Pennsylvania Employers are required to post the name of their Workers Compensation Insurance Carrier at the workplace. Sometime, smaller employers, financially troubled employers or crooked employers will “go bare” meaning they violate the Law and fail to get Workers Compensation Insurance. Sometimes, employers do a variation of going bare: they will claim that they do not have any employees, only independent contractors. Any employer who won’t provide the name of their Workers Comp Carrier or who say they are going to “take care of this ourselves, no need to report this, we will take care of you” should be viewed with suspicion. BE CAREFUL! There is a special fund in Pennsylvania which pays Workers Compensation claims where an employer fails to have Workers Comensation insurance . However, injured workers are required to give Notice to the Uninsured Employers Guarantee Fund within 120 days of the date they knew or should have known that their Employer did not have coverage. Many times the injured worker dosen’t know, or, if they do know, they are unaware that the clock is ticking on the 120 days to give Notice to the UEGF. Even many lawyers don’t know about this Fund or the notice requirement. Quick legal action to protect your rights is required when you have a serious injury at work and you know or suspect that your Employer does not have Workers Compensation Insurance. You can also recover directly against the employer. It is a criminal offense to not have workers’ comp insurance and these cases are routinely prosecuted in PA.


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has implemented an on-line complaint form for “whistleblowers”. An employee who notifies OSHA regarding unsafe or unhealthful conditions, or other exercised rights under the law, and whose employer retaliates or discharges the employee because of it, can file a complaint via OSHA’s website. This complaint must allege that the employee engaged in activity protected by the whistleblower provisions of the law, the employer knew about the suspected activity, the employer subjected the employee to an adverse action or threatened such action, and the protected activity motivated or contributed to the adverse action.

The complaint can be found at: https://www.osha.gov/whistleblower/WBComplaint.html


An issue that is often at the heart of worker’s compensation litigation involves the calculation of the worker’s Average Weekly Wage. Many topics involving the correct calculation of the Claimant’s Average Weekly Wage are covered on this site. (For a recap on Calculating Partial Disability click here; for an explanation of how a Compensation Rate should be calculated see here; for an explanation of how Overtime factors in see here.) One topic that can be very difficult for an injured worker (and for some workers’ comp attorneys) to understand is how the transition from part-time work to full-time work can impact a person’s Average Weekly Wage (or AWW). Fortunately for injured workers, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court of Pennsylvania issued a decision in which they found that, in some scenarios, an injured worker who had been working part-time before becoming a full-time employee and was subsequently injured, may have his or her AWW calculated solely on the basis of full-time work.
In the case of Hannaberry HVAC and Donegal Mutual Insurance Companies v. WCAB (Snyder, JR.), the PA Supreme Court was confronted with a difficult scenario involving what hours should be used in calculating an injured worker’s average weekly wage. [Your compensation rate is determined from the A.W.W.] In this case, an employee had been working for a company part-time while he attended school. Once the employee graduated from school, he began working full-time with the same employer. A few months after transitioning to full-time work, the claimant was injured in the course of his employment. The insurance company accepted the injury, but calculated the employee’s average weekly wage based upon the previous year. This calculation lead to a much lower average weekly wage and comp rate than a calculation based upon full-time work would have.
In addressing the issue of the average weekly wage, the court looked to the workers’ comp regulations and found that this specific situation was not addressed by Section 309 of the Act. The court found through a thorough reading of the Act, that “a fair ascertainment” of the employee’s wages was the intent of the legislature. The court also pointed to other situations which are accounted for under Section 309 for guidance. One such scenario is when shortly after beginning a new job, an employee is injured. Under Section 309(d), that employee’s average weekly wage should be based upon the employee’s expectation of wages, including any overtime the employee expected to work, because that is a more accurate depiction of what the injured worker is actually missing out on. By applying that reasoning, and the general “overall humanitarian purpose of the Act”, the court found that when there is a paradigm shift from part-time to full-time work, and an employee has completed at least one full thirteen week period of full-time work, the average weekly wage should be calculated based solely upon the full-time hours that the employee worked.
This situation is just another reminder that it is always important to review the insurer’s determination of your average weekly wage. Even a small discrepancy can be worth tens of thousands of dollars to your case. In most cases we review (about 80% of the time), we find the AWW was miscalculated not in the injured workers’ favor.


When an employee is injured on the job, the worker’s top priority has to be recovering from the injury. An uncomfortable situation which can cause undue stress occurs when the workers comp insurance company attempts to force the injured worker into undergoing treatment that is unwanted.
Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, an employer/insurer may ask a Judge to suspend the benefits of a worker dealing with work-injury if the employee refuses to undergo recommended treatment that is deemed reasonable. In determining whether a recommended treatment is reasonable, the employer must show (1) it is highly probable that the medical treatment will cure the problem; and (2) it is highly probable that the medical treatment will enhance the employee’s prospects of gainful and fulfilling employment. Luckily for the injured worker, this is a high threshold for the employer to meet. In a certain fact pattern, a PA case has held that for these purposes 50% is not “highly probable”. PA courts have gone so far to say that when surgery is involved, an 80% chance of a good to excellent result, was not enough to meet this burden. An employee may also establish, by medical evidence, that he or she is not a good candidate for treatment such as surgery due to his or her own complicating factors. Such complicating factors may include non-work-related health issues such as high blood pressure, smoking, obesity, diabetes, and psychiatric problems.
If you are injured on the job, recovering from your injury must be your top priority. You should accept medical treatment to improve your health, not because you are concerned that refusal to undergo treatment would result in loss of your workers’ compensation benefits. If you have any questions, please feel free to call us and we will provide the answers free of charge.


The general rule is workers’ compensation insurance carrier is allowed to get your medical records. It is typical for the insurance company to get records when you are first injured in order to investigate the claim. They can only do this with your signed consent and any such consent should be of a limited duration. Also, when a petition is pending before a workers’ compensation judge, workers’ compensation may subpoena medical records that are material and relevant to the petition. Your attorney is also required to produce any medical records in their possession they want to use in your case. This includes records for work-related treatment, and could also include records for treatment that was not work-related.

However, the courts have held that the PA workers’ compensation insurance carrier, employer, nurse case manager or defense counsel are not permitted to talk to your doctors if you are represented by an attorney without the attorney being present. They are not allowed to discuss your treatment, recommend other treatment options, or in any way attempt to influence your treating doctors. This is because your doctor must be loyal you, cannot risk disclosing medical information that is irrelevant to the workers’ compensation claim, or be accused of breach of privacy. Also, direct communication with your doctor is not allowed as defense counsel may seek to improperly influence the doctor or convince him not to testify on your behalf. When an injured worker files a workers compensation claim, she is putting her physical condition under the legal spotlight and the Workers Comp Insurance carrier is entitled to medical records. The treating doctor owes a duty of loyalty to the patient; however, and the doctor /patient relationship still exists. The WC defense attorney does not have the right to speak to the doctor unless the patient ort her attorney agree. This is a complicated area of law and medicine and there are overlapping duties and requirements. As a general rule, medical records are disclosed in a comp claim. Anything more than thatsuch as the treating doctor speaking to the WC insurance lawyer may be privileged; even when the doctor is a panel doctor, ie, on the list of medical providers with which the injured worker must treat during the first 90 days of treatment.

If you have any questions or concerns about your Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits or improper communication with your doctor, call the attorney at Calhoon & Associates for a free consultation, a free case review or free case management.

The law firm of Calhoon & Associates represents injured workers and Social Security Disability applicants throughout Pennsylvania, including (but not limited to): Allentown, Altoona, Bellefonte, Bethlehem, Bloomsburg, Carlisle, Chambersburg, Easton, Enola, Fayetteville, Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Hazelton, Hollidaysburg, Huntingdon, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lewisburg, Lewistown, McConnellsburg, Mechanicsburg, Mifflintown, Millersburg, Milton, New Bloomfield, Newport, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Pottsville, Reading, Scranton, Shippensburg, State College, Sunbury, Uniontown, Washington, Wellsboro, Wilkes-Barre, Williamsport, York and all cities and towns in Adams County, Allegheny County, Berks County, Blair County, Bucks County, Centre County, Chester County, Clinton County, Columbia County, Cumberland County, Dauphin County, Fayette County, Franklin County, Fulton County, Huntingdon County, Juniata County, Lancaster County, Lebanon County, Lehigh County, Luzerne County, Lycoming County, Mifflin County, Montgomery County, Northumberland County, Perry County, Philadelphia County, Schuylkill County, Tioga County, Union County, Washington County and York County, Pennsylvania.

Calhoon & Associates
2411 North Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110


Yes. While receiving PA workers’ compensation benefits, you may attend school or some other form of retraining, usually offered by the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. While attending school, workers’ compensation should consider your class schedule when making any job offers or conducting a Labor Market Survey. If your class schedule is not accommodated, your workers’ compensation benefits may not be modified or suspended, as the position is not considered within your work capabilities. The courts have stated that “whether a position will accommodate a claimant’s college retraining under the Vocational Rehabilitation Act is a relevant consideration in determining whether the position is available to the claimant.” Every case is different and you should consult with an attorney as whether your class schedule can be used a shield against a labor market survey modification of your benefits, to timing of school, OVR grants, and timing of workers’ comp settlement as it relates to attending school or college.


Harrisburg’s best workers’ compensation lawyers

Attorney Ron Calhoun is extremely hardworking and helpful. The staff in his office were supportive and responsive. Although my case was trying he came out with flying colors. I would definitely recommend him as one of Harrisburg’s best workers’ compensation lawyers. 2-18-14 Shirley H. Harrisburg, PA


If you have just received a Labor Market Survey prepared by a vocational counselor for your Employer, it lists jobs the vocational counselor hired by the workers’ compensation carrier “thinks” you are capable of performing, along with the wages you could be expected to earn from the jobs. Now what do you do? You should consider immediately applying for the jobs listed in the Labor Market Survey and track:

• The date you applied for the job
• The name of the employer
• The type of job
• The actual physical requirements of the job
• The actual wages and expected number of hours
• Any response received from the employer
• Whether the job was actually open and available when you applied for it (the position has not been filled and the employer is still hiring)

Tracking this information will assist your attorney in defending against a Modification or Suspension Petition based on the Labor Market Survey. In order to use the Labor Market Survey to reduce or stop workers’ compensation wage loss benefits, your Employer must show that the jobs are meaningful employment opportunities, that they remained open until you had a reasonable amount of time to apply for them, and that you are capable of doing the jobs.

If you have received a Labor Market Survey, or had a Suspension or Modification Petition filed against you, the experienced attorneys at Calhoon & Associates, P.C. can help. Please feel free call us for a free consultation for more ideas and tips on how to win.


The Pennsylvania (PA) Department of Labor & Industry has determined the statewide average weekly wage for injuries occurring on and after Jan. 1, 2014, shall be $932.00 per week. This means the maximum anyone can receive for a workers’ compensation check for a work injury is $917.00 per week. For purposes of calculating the update to payments for medical treatment to medical providers is the percentage increase in the statewide average weekly wage which is 1.6 percent.
Under the Workers’ Compensation Act, most injured workers are entitled to indemnity (wage-loss) benefits equal to two-thirds of their average weekly wage for a work-related injury. However, there are minimum and maximum adjustments provided in the Act, and the benefit rate is set using the annual maximum in place at the time of injury. The maximum is based on the Department of Labor and Industry’s calculation of the statewide average weekly wage. For a FREE review to make sure your weekly compensation rate was correctly (often times it is under calculated) calculated (including overtime and bonuses), feel free to contact calhoon & associates, Central PA Workers’ Comp attorneys, at 1-877-291-9675 (work) or at www.workinjuryinpa.com The schedules provided on the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s site provide weekly rates from calendar year 2009to 2014.


Mr. Calhoon personally came to my home after me contacting his firm. He sat down and explained everything in detail pertaining to my case. It was the first time in over a year and a half that I have had peace of mind due to this work related injury. He also directed me towards excellent physicians, whom are helping me to manage the pain and also give me excellent care. I was beside myself with worry, after my initial workman’s compensation doctor refused to do another MRI unless I consented yet to another surgery. I had no idea of my legal rights. After Mr. Calhoon reviewed my paperwork, which I thankfully kept it all, he concluded that I was entitled to see another physician for a second opinion. In addition, Mr. Calhoon discovered that the workman’s compensation insurance company, PMA was under paying me every week all this time by not properly calculating my comp rate. I would never have questioned this in detail. Thank the heavens above for honest, straight shooting attorney’s like Mr. Calhoon. Jane G., Northumberland, PA


No. Work related medical bills from the work injury not fully paid by the employer of the workers’ compensation insurance can not be charged or billed to the injured worker. Under the PA Workers’ Compensation Act, Section 127.211 (a) of the Rules and Regulations states that:
(a) A provider may hold an employee liable for costs related to care or services rendered in connection with a compensable injury under the Act. A provider may not bill for, or otherwise attempt to recover from the employee, the difference between the provider’s charge and the amount paid by the insurer.

In other words, balance billing by your medical provider is illegal. Workers’ cop medical treatment is paid at a certain rate and when the provider accepts a patient injured at work, the medical provider has accepted to be reimbursed at the workers’ comp fee schedule rate. If the provider has a problem with the rate, the provider may file a fee dispute against the carrier or employer, but not against the injured worker.

A practical problem is that the Workers Compensation Act doesn’t provide for a way of stopping doctors who bill their patients for a work-related injury. You should ask your lawyer to contact the doctor and point out the language of the Regulation and take further steps if need be.


No. Work related medical bills from the work injury not paid by the employer of the workers’ compensation insurance that were found to be unreasonable and unnecessary by a utilization review can not be charged or billed to the injured worker. Under the PA Workers’ Compensation Act, Section 127.211 (b) of the Rules and Regulations states that:
(b) A provider may not bill for, or otherwise attempt to recover from the employe, charges for treatment or services determined to be unreasonable or unnecessary…
A practical problem is that the Workers Compensation Act does not provide for a way of stopping doctors who bill their patients for a work-related injury. You should ask your lawyer to contact the doctor and point out the language of the Regulation and take further steps if need be.


January 15, 2014

The Commissioner of Social Security, today announced 25 NEW Compassionate Allowances conditions making the total number of disabling conditions to 225. The Compassionate Allowances program speeds up disability decisions for those with the most serious disabilities. The new conditions include disorders that affect the digestive, neurological, immune, and multiple body systems. So far, almost 200,000 people with severe disabilities have been approved through this fast-track disability program.

The new conditions are:
2.Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor
3.Chronic Idiopathic Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction
4.Coffin- Lowry Syndrome
6.Giant Axonal Neuropathy
7.Hoyeaal-Hreidarsson Syndrome
8.Intracranial Hemangiopericytoma
9.Joubert Syndrome
10.Leptomeningeal Carcinomatosis
11.Liposarcoma- metastatic or recurrent
12.Malignant Ectomesenchymoma
13.Malignant Renal Rhabdoid Tumor
14.Marshall-Smith Syndrome
15.Oligodendroglioma Brain Tumor- Grade III
16.Pallister-Killian Syndrome
17.Progressive Bulbar Palsy
18.Prostate Cancer – Hormone Refractory Disease – or with visceral metastases
19.Revesz Syndrome
20.Seckel Syndrome
21.Sjogren-Larsson Syndrome
22.Small Cell Cancer of the Thymus
23.Soft Tissue Sarcoma- with distant metastases or recurrent
24.X-Linked Lymphoproliferative Disease
25.X-Linked Myotubular Myopathy

Other conditions eligible for the compassionate allowance program are:

Acute Leukemia

Adrenal Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent

Adult Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Adult Onset Huntington Disease

Aicardi-Goutieres Syndrome

Alexander Disease (ALX) – Neonatal and Infantile

Allan-Herndon-Dudley Syndrome

Alobar Holoprosencephaly

Alpers Disease

Alpha Mannosidosis – Type II and III

Alstrom Syndrome

Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma

Amegakaryocytic Thrombocytopenia

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Anaplastic Adrenal Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent

Angelman Syndrome


Aortic Atresia

Aplastic Anemia

Astrocytoma – Grade III and IV

Ataxia Telangiectasia

Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor

Batten Disease

Beta Thalassemia Major

Bilateral Optic Atrophy- Infantile

Bilateral Retinoblastoma

Bladder Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable

Breast Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable

Canavan Disease (CD)

Carcinoma of Unknown Primary Site

Caudal Regression Syndrome – Types III and IV

Cerebro Oculo Facio Skeletal (COFS) Syndrome

Cerebrotendinous Xanthomatosis

Child Neuroblastoma – with distant metastases or recurrent

Child Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma – recurrent

Child T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma

Chondrosarcoma – with multimodal therapy

Chronic Idiopathic Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction

Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) – Blast Phase

Coffin-Lowry Syndrome

Congenital Lymphedema

Cornelia de Lange Syndrome

Corticobasal Degeneration

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) – Adult

Cri du Chat Syndrome

Degos Disease – Systemic

DeSanctis Cacchione Syndrome

Dravet Syndrome

Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease

Edwards Syndrome (Trisomy 18)

Eisenmenger Syndrome

Endometrial Stromal Sarcoma

Endomyocardial Fibrosis

Ependymoblastoma (Child Brain Tumor)

Erdheim Chester Disease

Esophageal Cancer


Ewing Sarcoma

Farber’s Disease (FD) – Infantile

Fatal Familial Insomnia

Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva

Follicular Dendritic Cell Sarcoma – metastatic or recurrent

Friedreichs Ataxia (FRDA)

Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD), Picks Disease -Type A – Adult

Fryns Syndrome

Fucosidosis – Type 1

Fukuyama Congenital Muscular Dystrophy

Fulminant Giant Cell Myocarditis

Galactosialidosis – Early and Late Infantile Types

Gallbladder Cancer

Gaucher Disease (GD) – Type 2

Giant Axonal Neuropathy

Glioblastoma Multiforme (Adult Brain Tumor)

Glioma Grade III and IV

Glutaric Acidemia – Type II

Head and Neck Cancers – with distant metastasis or inoperable or unresectable

Heart Transplant Graft Failure

Heart Transplant Wait List – 1A/1B

Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) – Familial Type


Hepatopulmonary Syndrome

Hepatorenal Syndrome

Histiocytosis Syndromes

Hoyeaal-Hreidarsson Syndrome

Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome


Hypocomplementemic Urticarial Vasculitis Syndrome

Hypophosphatasia Perinatal (Lethal) and Infantile Onset Types

Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

I Cell Disease

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Intracranial Hemangiopericytoma

Infantile Free Sialic Acid Storage Disease

Infantile Neuroaxonal Dystrophy (INAD)

Infantile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses

Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC)

Jervell and Lange-Nielsen Syndrome

Joubert Syndrome

Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa – Lethal Type

Juvenile Onset Huntington Disease

Kidney Cancer – inoperable or unresectable

Krabbe Disease (KD) – Infantile

Kufs Disease – Type A and B

Large Intestine Cancer – with distant metastasis or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent

Late Infantile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses

Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) Recipient

Leigh’s Disease


Leptomeningeal Carcinomatosis

Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome (LNS)

Lewy Body Dementia

Liposarcoma – metastatic or recurrent


Liver Cancer

Lowe Syndrome

Lymphomatoid Granulomatosis – Grade III

Malignant Brain Stem Gliomas – Childhood

Malignant Ectomesenchymoma

Malignant Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor

Malignant Germ Cell Tumor

Malignant Melanoma – with metastases

Malignant Multiple Sclerosis

Malignant Renal Rhabdoid Tumor

Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL)

Maple Syrup Urine Disease

Marshall-Smith Syndrome

Mastocytosis – Type IV

MECP2 Duplication Syndrome

Medulloblastoma – with metastases

Menkes Disease – Classic or Infantile Onset Form

Merkel Cell Carcinoma – with metastases

Merosin Deficient Congenital Muscular Dystrophy

Metachromatic Leukodystrophy (MLD) – Late Infantile

Mitral Valve Atresia

Mixed Dementias

MPS I, formerly known as Hurler Syndrome

MPS II, formerly known as Hunter Syndrome

MPS III, formerly known as Sanfilippo Syndrome

Mucosal Malignant Melanoma

Multicentric Castleman Disease

Multiple System Atrophy

Myoclonic Epilepsy with Ragged Red Fibers Syndrome

Neonatal Adrenoleukodystrophy

Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis

Neurodegeneration with Brain Iron Accumulation – Types 1 and 2

NFU-1 Mitochondrial Disease

Niemann-Pick Disease (NPD) – Type A

Niemann-Pick Disease-Type C

Nonketotic Hyperglycinemia

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer – with metastases to or beyond the hilar nodes or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent

Obliterative Bronchiolitis

Ohtahara Syndrome

Oligodendroglioma Brain Tumor – Grade III

Ornithine Transcarbamylase (OTC) Deficiency

Orthochromatic Leukodystrophy with Pigmented Glia

Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) – Type II

Osteosarcoma, formerly known as Bone Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable

Ovarian Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable

Pancreatic Cancer

Pallister-Killian Syndrome

Paraneoplastic Pemphigus

Patau Syndrome (Trisomy 13)

Pearson Syndrome

Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease-Classic Form

Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease-Connatal Form

Peripheral Nerve Cancer – metastatic or recurrent

Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Peritoneal Mucinous Carcinomatosis

Perry Syndrome

Phelan-McDermid Syndrome

Pleural Mesothelioma

Pompe Disease – Infantile

Primary Cardiac Amyloidosis

Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma

Primary Effusion Lymphoma

Primary Progressive Aphasia

Progressive Bulbar Palsy

Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy

Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

Prostate Cancer – Hormone Refractory Disease – or with visceral metastases

Pulmonary Atresia

Pulmonary Kaposi Sarcoma

Retinopathy of Prematurity – Stage V

Rett (RTT) Syndrome

Revesz Syndrome


Rhizomelic Chondrodysplasia Punctata

Roberts Syndrome

Salivary Tumors

Sandhoff Disease

Schindler Disease – Type 1

Seckel Syndrome

Severe Combined Immunodeficiency – Childhood

Single Ventricle

Sjogren-Larsson Syndrome

Sinonasal Cancer

Small Cell Cancer (of the Large Intestine, Ovary, Prostate, Thymus, or Uterus)

Small Cell Lung Cancer

Small Intestine Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent

Smith Lemli Opitz Syndrome

Soft Tissue Sarcoma – with distant metastases or recurrent

Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) – Types 0 and 1

Spinal Nerve Root Cancer-metastatic or recurrent

Spinocerebellar Ataxia

Stiff Person Syndrome

Stomach Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent

Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis

Tabes Dorsalis

Tay Sachs Disease – Infantile Type

Thanatophoric Dysplasia – Type 1

The ALS/Parkinsonism Dementia Complex

Thyroid Cancer

Transplant Coronary Artery Vasculopathy

Tricuspid Atresia

Ullrich Congenital Muscular Dystrophy

Ureter Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent

Usher Syndrome – Type I

Walker Warburg Syndrome

Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome

Wolman Disease

X-Linked Lymphoproliferative Disease

X-Linked Myotubular Myopathy

Xeroderma Pigmentosum

Zellweger Syndrome


It is because Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability do not decide your entitlement to benefits the same way. They have different burdens of proof.
Under Pennsylvania law, you receive workers’ compensation benefits if you are injured at work. To determine if you can receive benefits, workers’ compensation only looks at the injury or medical condition that was caused by work, and how that injury or condition is affecting your earning loss. In PA workers’ comp, disability means earning loss. Your earning loss is measured against your not earning what you used to earn doing your job. A barber or concert pianist with a thumb injury is totally disabled under PA workers’ compensation and not entitled to SSD. An attorney with a thumb injury, suffers no earning loss and would not be entitled to workers’ compensation (except payment of the work related medical bills). So it is quite possible to receive SSD, but not receive Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits, or vice versa.
However, to qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits (SSD), the Social Security Administration (SSA) looks at all medical conditions and injuries that have lasted or are expected to last more than 12 months, and severely affect your ability to work your old job and ALSO in the general economy. To get SSD, you have to be disabled from substantial gainful employment, including jobs you have never done or heard of. But SSA also looks at your age, education and work experience; whereas, workers’ compensation does not initially look at those factors in awarding initial entitlement to benefits.
Because SSA looks at all medical conditions and workers’ compensation only looks at a specific injury or condition and because they have drastically different definitions of disability, you can receive one benefit and not the other. PA workers’ compensation and SSD each perform their own independent review of whether you can receive benefits based on completely different factors.
If you find yourself in this situation, or need any help or have any questions regarding Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation or Social Security Disability Benefits, please call Calhoon & Associates at (877) 291-WORK (9675).


The current Pennsylvania Workers Compensation law requires injured workers to be subjected to interviews by so-called vocational experts to permit the comp carrier to use a labor market survey to reduce your weekly benefits. What are the qualifications of these experts? Not much, as it turns out. Any chump with a college degree can be a vocational expert in workers compensation. The Workers Compensation law says that a Vocational Expert can qualify if they have a college degree and one year of experience working with people who receive disability benefits as long as they pass a test. Who administers the test? The “ Disability Management Specialists Commission”, that’s who. The same organization that confers the title. Apply and grant. Contrast this with the requirements in Pennsylvania to be a barber, funeral director, social worker or landscape architect. In order to become certified, those candidates have to pass an examination given by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. What is the “take away” message here? Pennsylvania Workers Compensation” Vocational Expert” testimony is a cynical charade devoid of integrity. The entire purpose is to reduce the workers compensation benefits payable to injured workers. The polite term is “persiflage”. Recently a vocational expert hired by us to rebut the findings of the labor market survey finding our mentally retarded client with a bad back could perform certain jobs that were shown to have never existed but mere fabrications of the “expert” hired by the workers’ compensation carrier, was asked if such fraud surprised him and his response was: “No, 90% of those in my profession are scum.” If you ever hear the words vocational expert or labor market survey, if you do not already have one of the best PA workers’ compensation attorneys on your side, now is the time to hire one before it is too late. We do not charge attorney fees to guide an injured worker thru the vocational process or to be present during the initial vocational examination.
The law firm of Calhoon & Associates represents injured workers and Social Security Disability applicants throughout Pennsylvania, including (but not limited to): Allentown, Altoona, Bellefonte, Bethlehem, Bloomsburg, Carlisle, Chambersburg, Easton, Enola, Fayetteville, Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Hazelton, Hollidaysburg, Huntingdon, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lewisburg, Lewistown, Mechanicsburg, Mifflintown, Millersburg, Milton, New Bloomfield, Newport, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Pottsville, Reading, Scranton, Shippensburg, State College, Sunbury, Uniontown, Washington, Wellsboro, Wilkes-Barre, Williamsport, York and all cities and towns in Adams County, Allegheny County, Berks County, Blair County, Bucks County, Centre County, Chester County, Clinton County, Columbia County, Cumberland County, Dauphin County, Fayette County, Franklin County, Fulton County, Huntingdon County, Juniata County, Lancaster County, Lebanon County, Lehigh County, Luzerne County, Lycoming County, Mifflin County, Montgomery County, Northumberland County, Perry County, Philadelphia County, Schuylkill County, Tioga County, Union County, Washington County and York County, Pennsylvania.

Calhoon & Associates
2411 North Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110


Yes. For example, if you worked as A Residential Services Aide at a Pennsylvania State Center for adult severely mentally handicapped individuals. Four years ago, you were assisting an individual in the bathroom when he started to fall, landing on you and rupturing a disc in your back. You are receiving Pennsylvania Workers Compensation benefits and was told that you are not eligible for Act 534 payments because 1) the individual did not deliberately injure you and 2) it happened more than 3 years ago. Is this right? Answer: No. Act 534, like Act 632 and Heart and Lung, pays certain categories of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania employees who work in high risk occupations full wages and benefits in addition to or instead of Workers Compensation . Court decisions have found that an injured worker has up to six years (as opposed to the normal time limit of 3 years) to request them, so you aren’t too late. Court cases have also interpreted the “act of a patient” language to mean a passive act (they fell on you by mistake) rather than an active act the individual meant to hurt you). You should make an application to the Department of Public Welfare for Act 534 benefits under these type of circumstances.


If this happens, you should file a penalty petition right away. If you settle your Workers Compensation claim in Pennsylvania and write off future medical benefits you must get a Medicare Set Aside if you are receiving Medicare through Social Security or are currently Medicare eligible at the time of the settlement or if the settlement is greater that $250,000.00. If you are disabled for both Workers Compensation and Social Security purposes you can likely get partial Social Security Disability in addition to Pa Workers Comp up to 80% of your average monthly income at the time of disability. If you then settle your workers comp claim, you have to take Medicare’s interests into account or you risk serious trouble with Social Security. Both the injured worker and the workers’ comp insurance company are bound by the terms of the WC Compromise and Release Settlement Agreement once approved by the WC Judge. If the WC carrier agreed to fund the Medicare Set Aside and then does not like the amount of money CMS/Social Security wants them to pay for the MSA, too bad. The Workers Compensation Appeal Board recently affirmed the decision of a Workers Compensation Judge who awarded $20,000 in penalties against an insurance carrier who tried to back out of an agreement to fund an MSA because they didn’t like the figure required by CMS/Social Security.


Generally, no. Once the claim has been recognized as a WC claim through the issuance of a Notice of Compensation Payable or Judge’s decision, the doctor can’t bill you for treatment of the injury. If the doctor doesn’t agree with the amount or timeliness of payment, he or she must file Fee Review with the Bureau of Workers Compensation. Workers’ comp pays doctors based on a fee schedule. The doctor is not allowed to bill you the balance between what comp pays and what the doctor charged. This is called balance billing and is not permitted by the WC law.
If the Workers Compensation Insurance Company wants to challenge the reasonableness or necessity of the doctor’s treatment; they can file for
Utilization Review. If the Reviewing doctor finds the treatment unnecessary or unreasonable, you can’t be charged.


An injured worker explains how Calhoon & Associates helps their clients during the time they actively working on a workers compensation case and even what they do after the case is settled.

If you, or a family member is employed in the state of Pennsylvania and is injured on the job and has issues with Pennsylvania Workers Compensation, contact Calhoon & Associates at 1-877-291-4722.


How Calhoon & Associates Helps Injured Workers

Three workers in Pennsylvania detail how Calhoon & Associates helped them after they were injured while on the job and got the run-around with their workers compensation issues.

If you have been injured in an accident at work and need help getting the bills paid and money coming in, contact Calhoon & Associates at 1-877-291-9675.


While at work, Ron was injured in a forklift accident and injured his back severely. In the video below, Ron details the injury, what he went through just to be able to function and how Calhoon & Associates helped with getting him the benefits and compensation he deserved.

If you have been injured at work and are having issues with the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation system or your employer, give us a call 1-877-291-9675. We can help.


Pennsylvania Warehouse Worker Details Her Work Injury

Mellisa, a warehouse worker in Pennsylvania, details her experiences right after her injury at work, how she was treated and how professional help with a workers compensation issue can make all the difference in the world.

If you, or a family member is having problems with workers compensation in Pennsylvania, or with your employer regarding an injury at work, contact Ron, Tom or A.J. with Calhoon & Associates at 1-877-291-9765…and get the help you deserve. There is no charge for this call.


A Drunk Driving Accident Victim Tells His Story

While returning from Philadelphia after a delivery, Ralph was hit head-on by a drunk driver which resulted in many serious injuries. He explains how his employer made it difficult on him regarding his workers compensation and how Calhoon & Associates were able to get him the benefits and compensation he deserved.

If you have been injured at work, and you’re having problems getting benefits or compensation – or you’re already on workers comp and are having the same problems, contact Calhoon & Associates at 1-877-291-9675 for a free question & answer session.


It might come as a surprise to some, but Workers Compensation Insurance Companies many times can and will try to film you or conduct surveillance on your daily activities to gather evidence to use against you.

Watch the video below as Attorney A.J. Palutis details what the Insurance Company will try to do…and how you can be prepared for it when they do.

If you live in Pennsylvania and need help with a workers compensation matter, don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-291-4722 and find out what your rights really are and what benefits you are entitled to.


If you’re a heavy user of Facebook, Twitter and other sites like that, you can bet the Workers Comp Insurance Company for your employer will look for a way to use those sites against you.

In the video below, A.J. Palutis, a Pennsylvania Workers Comp Lawyer, details what you need to do, and what to watch out for if you use Facebook or other social media sites.

If you need help with your workers comp case and live anywhere in Pennsylvania, don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-291-4722 to get some advice.


How To Report An Injury On The Job

If you have been injured on the job in Pennsylvania, listen in as attorney A.J. Palutis explains how to report the incident correctly.

If you live in Pennsylvania and need help with your workers compensation case, don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-291-4722 and find out what benefits you are entitled to. The call is free…so pick up the phone and call.


How To Choose A Workers Compensation Lawyer

Over the years, we’ve been told by our clients that they didn’t know what to look for when searching for a workers compensation lawyer. So Pennsylvania Workers Comp Attorney A.J. Palutis details what to look for when you need the help of an attorney for a work related injury.

If you live in Pennsylvania and need help with your workers comp case, don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-291-4722 and find out what your rights really are…and what you are entitled to.


In this video, Pennsylvania Workers Comp Lawyer Tom Wilken explains how long a workers compensation case can take to finish.

If you have been injured while at work and are pursuing a workers comp claim but are getting nowhere, contact Calhoon & Associates at 1-877-291-4722 and find out exactly what you can do to get the benefits and compensation your are entitled to.


In this video, Attorney Tom Wilken explains what to do if you are contacted by the workers comp insurance company to inform you that you now have an assigned nurse case-manager for your workers compensation case.

If you have been assigned an Nurse Case Manager and it seems that the Workers Comp Insurance Company is rushing you back to work, why not give our office a call at 1-877-291-4722 and find out what your options are and what we might be able to do about it.


In this video, Pennsylvania Attorney Tom Wilken explains what to do when your actual injuries are being minimized, trivialized or even falsely reported as the workers comp case progresses and how it can impact your benefits greatly.

If you work in Pennsylvania and an actual work injury is being trivialized or even reflected incorrectly, so your actual injury and recovery seems much less significant, for the sole benefit of the workers comp insurance company, give our office a call at 1-877-291-4722 and find out what we might be able to do.


In this video, Attorney Tom Wilken explains when is the best time to settle your Pennsylvania workers compensation claim….and when it makes more sense to push-back and make sure you get the benefits you deserve.

If you are considering settling your workers compensation claim, we’d like you to take a moment and speak to an attorney. You can call us at 1-877-291-4722 and find out if it’s time to settle….or push back.


How Do You Get Paid On Workers Compensation?

Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Lawyer Tom Wilken explains how you are supposed to get paid when you are on workers compensation and if it’s late, what options do you have.

If you are having issues with getting your workers compensation paid on time and in full, give us a call at 1-877-291-4722 and let us see what we can do.


In this video, Pennsylvania Attorney Tom Wilken details what happens when a family member is critically injured and is killed while at work – or is so seriously injured that those injuries prove to be eventually fatal.

If your loved one dies at work, a workers comp death claim should be immediately filed.

But if the serious injuries do not result in death in the short term, but linger on, the family must adhere to what the state has in place for this type of situation.

Find out more by watching this video.

If you have lost a family member due to an injury at work, or they’ve been so seriously injured that they likely will not survive long-term, please call our office at 1-877-291-4722 and speak to an attorney so you can protect your rights.


What Is A Temporary Notice of Compensation Payable?

In this video, Attorney Tom Wilken details what happens when you receive a document in the mail after being injured at work that is called a “Temporary Notice of Compensation Payable” which details your workers compensation monetary benefits and payment of your medical bills for 90 days, and what likely happens when the 90 days is up.

It’s quite common – and you’ll very likely need an attorney when you receive that document.

If you have received a Temporary Notice of Compensation Payable and would like to speak with an attorney at Calhoon & Associates….for free….call us at 1-877-291-4722.


In this video, Attorney Tom Wilken details the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Utilization Review equest that says your Medical Treatment will no longer be covered…and what you should do.

If you have received a Utilization Review request for your workers comp issue, contact us at 1-877-291-4722 and let us see if we can help you.


What happens if you’ve suffered an injury at work and it’s left scarring or other lasting visual issues, like the loss of teeth.

Under Pennsylvania workers compensation laws, if these visual issues or disfigurements are on the head, neck or face, you are entitled to benefits.

Watch the video below where Attorney Tom Wilken details exactly what benefits you are entitled too.

If you have suffered an injury while at work and have a disfigurement, why not speak to an experienced Pennsylvania workers comp attorney and find out what you are entitled to. Call us at 1-877-291-4722 – the call is free.


Many times, an employer – or their insurance carrier- will not detail what exact benefits and treatment you are entitled to after a knee injury.

In this video, Attorney Tom Wilken details exactly what benefits you are entitled to after injuring your ACL or MCL while at work in Pennsylvania.

If you have suffered a severe knee injury and are not getting the benefits, why not call us at 1-877-291-4722 and find out what you can do about it.


Attorney A.J. Palutis explains how the state of Pennsylvania handles workers comp benefits if you have a pre-existing condition caused by a prior injury or accident.

If you live in Pennsylvania and need help with your workers compensation case, or are already on workers compensation and are getting the run-around or not receiving your benefits, don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-291-4722 and find out what you are really entitled to. The call is free…so pick up the phone and call.


Herniated Disc Injuries While At Work

In this video, Attorney Tom Wilken discusses a herniated disc injury and how Pennsylvania Workers Compensation treats that injury, how to report it and what to say to the medical professionals who will treat you.

If you were injured at work and suffered a herniated disc but can’t get the treatment you need to return to a normal life, call us at 1-877-291-4722 and find out what you can accomplish when a talented team of workers comp lawyers get involved.


Pre-Approval For Treatment Of A Work Injury

One of the most common questions we are asked is “Do I need pre-approval for treatment for an injury suffered while working?”

Here’s why it’s so common….after an injury at work, your doctor will likely recommend treatment but the workers comp insurance company indicates they need to approve it. Then they sit on the “pre-approval” request and you don’t get the medical care you need.

Here’s a little secret not many Pennsylvania workers know about…..you don’t need “pre-approval”. State law does not require it.

Watch the video below as Pennsylvania workers comp lawyer A.J. Palutis shares how to handle this issue and get the medical treatment you need.

If you are getting the run-around about treatment for an injury you received while working, call us at 1-877-291-4722, and we’ll help any way we can.


In this video, Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Attorney Tom Wilken explains when you are allowed to choose your own doctor after suffering an injury at work that results in a workers comp claim.

And remember, if you or a family member has been injured at work and is having an issue with their workers compensation case, don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-291-4722 and find out if we can help.


What Is An Independent Medical Evaluation (IME)

If you have applied for Workers Comp in Pennsylvania after being injured on the job, it’s very likely that the Insurance Company that covers Workers Comp for you employer will require an Independent Medical Evaluation.

In the video below, Attorney A.J. Palutis gives you a better idea of what to expect…and more importantly, what to watch out for.

If you live in Pennsylvania and need help with your workers compensation case, or are already on workers compensation and are getting the run-around, don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-291-4722 and find out what benefits you are entitled to. The call is free…so pick up the phone and call.


No. The IRS, right now, has little power to actually enforce the payment of penalties, other than withholding any unpaid penalty from a future tax refund.

If you are required to enroll in Obamacare even if on workers’ compensation and do not, the following penalties apply:

Year Tax Per Person OR % of Income Maximum Penalty Allowed

2014 $ 95.00 1.0% $ 285.00
2015 $325.00 2.0% $ 975.00
2016 $695.00 2.5% $ 2,085.00
2017 + Figures will be adjusted for cost of living

The penalty due for failing to enroll is either the tax per person amount or % of income amount, whichever results in a higher penalty. Any penalty due and owing would be paid when filing your tax return for that year. Individuals who file joint returns are both equally responsible for the penalty. If the penalty is not paid, the IRS can collect it from a future tax refund. No criminal charges can be brought, and additional penalties cannot be added to the original penalty amount.

If your household income is below 133% of the federal poverty level, you are excused from paying any penalties.


Partial disability benefits run out at 500 weeks, which is 9.6 years.

If the employer or workers’ compensation insurance company voluntarily pays Workers’ Comp benefits and issues a Supplemental Agreement stating that they will pay WC benefits, can they then change their mind and stop payment? If the injured worker files a Petition for Penalty saying that the insurance company has to pay because they promised, they should win, right? Wrong.

Voluntary payment does not restart a legal obligation which has run out. Injured worker does not win, according to a decision form the Commonwealth Court of PA. before partial disability benefits run out, an injured worker should consult with an attorney.


This question requires a multiple part answer because its complicated. So lets start:

The Pennsylvania Workers Compensation System is now designed to move injured workers through the system as quickly as possible. Prior to legislative changes in the 1990’s, injured workers could stay covered by PA Workers’ Comp for decades. Settlements (then called Commutations) had to be in the “best interests” of the injured worker and closing or settling medical payments were not possible or legal. There were no truly bogus vocational evaluations like there are now. An injured worker who closed their case by the now-antique Final Receipt could easily reopen it.

There was no finality in the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation system and it was recognized that work injuries could have long standing implications for injured workers. That changed in the 1990’s as Pennsylvania, like other states, moved to restrict workers’ compensation benefits. Why did this happen? Understand that Pennsylvania Workers Comp is state regulated but privately funded unlike Unemployment and Social Security.

This means that insurance companies have a big say in how the laws are written and administered. In the history of Pennsylvania Workers Compensation there have been legislative changes every few decades. Sometimes, Pennsylvania’s law is liberalized like the changes in the early 1970’s. The changes in the 1990’s went the other way and PA WC became slanted in favor of insurance companies. If history is any guide, the law will again be liberalized around 2025 unless all workers compensation is dropped in favor of National Disability Insurance as happened in Britain in the 1950s and as advocated by former President Bill Clinton in the 1980s (it didn’t happen here. Not yet).

States, including Pennsylvania, don’t change their workers comp laws by accident. They work together. All the top WC Administrators from each state get together each year along with politicians, insurance companies and defense attorneys and attend a conference sponsored by the International Association of Industrial Boards and Commissions (IAIBC). These meetings take place in exotic locations and there are plenty of insurance company sponsored junkets and parties. The bureaucrats discuss data provided by a privately funded think tank from Cambridge, MA called the Workers Compensation Research Institute. This outfit studies each state system and reports their date from an insurance company perspective. Small wonder that the anti-worker changes to State laws in the 1990’s resembled each other. (It would be very interesting to examine the travel budgets and expense vouchers of Pennsylvania’s Workers Compensation Officials for the past 30 years or so….)

The new goal of Pennsylvania Workers Compensation is to get injured workers out of the system as soon as possible through temporarily workers comp, quick settlements, labor market surveys and impairment rating exams. Today, Compromise and Release workers’ compensation settlement agreements allow an injured worker to settle all rights including medicals.

Pennsylvania workers comp insurance companies are frustrated that they haven’t been able to fully automate the system because of a pesky legal doctrine known as Due Process. Due Process is a right protected by the United States Constitution. A famous US Supreme Court decision called Goldburg v. Kelly ruled that when states give benefits to people; those benefits can’t be taken away without a hearing and the chance to present evidence.

This is a pain in the neck for insurance companies in Pennsylvania Workers Comp. There is a tension here between the insurance model and the due process model. The insurance model sees injured workers as little problems to be managed as efficiently as possible. The due process model recognizes that people have rights and emphasizes lawyers and litigation.

The legislative changes to Pennsylvania Workers Comp in recent decades have swung in favor of the insurance model; the resulting law in Pennsylvania is a hodge podge mess. Insurance Companies have not completely gotten their way in Pennsylvania but the Pennsylvania Insurance Federation is always at it and the reduced role of Organized Labor in Pennsylvania means that there is little to stop them.(Very little got past Julius Uehlein, the late head of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO in the 1970’s and 1980’s.)

There are currently pending legislative proposals to, for example, extend the captive period requiring injured workers to treat with company doctors. If you can control the doctor, you can control the system. As a wise person once said: “No true independent evaluation goes unpunished”
Pa Workers Compensation Companies would like to get rid of lawyers in the system starting with their own. The most rapidly rising cost in the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation system in the past decade has been the fees charged to insurance companies by defense lawyers. Insurance companies have responded by starting their own law firms and having their lawyers work “in house”.

Workers Compensation Insurance companies would love to get claimants lawyers out of the system although they haven’t yet figured out a way to do it. Their current approach s to have the adjuster tell the injured worker to settle their case as soon as possible instead of hiring an attorney “who will take all the money”.

This is rather amateurish and no doubt the insurance companies will become more sophisticated in coming years. Most realize that studies show the net recovery to the injured worker with workers’ compensation attorney far exceeds the costs of the attorney.

The current Workers Compensation law is designed to get injured workers so disgusted with the process that they give up and go away. To a large degree, Workers Compensation litigation in Pennsylvania is a charade. Many of the actors do not believe in what they are doing, they are well paid cogs in a machine. And they are all making money. The Employer’s doctor, the “independent” medical examiner, who testifies that the injured worker with the three level back fusion suffered a back sprain at work and the surgery was really caused by a childhood tricycle accident really doesn’t believe it. The so-called vocational expert who testifies that a 55 year old worker with a tenth grade education and a 15 lb lifting restriction is fully employable doesn’t really believe it.

The defense attorney who files a Petition for Termination claiming that the severely injured worker is fully recovered doesn’t really believe it.( Well, the young defense attorneys do, but they get jaded quickly).

You, the injured worker are getting hassled because 1) the WC system wants you to go away 2) The Pa Workers Comp litigation process is a based on a series of phony charades and 3) Doctors, lawyers and various experts are making money playing charades that they don’t believe in. The only people not adequately served by the PA Workers Compensation system are employees injured at work and employers. If you would like to talk to a lawyer, free of charge, who really cares about the injured worker and is not interested in playing in the charade, feel free to contact any of the attorneys at Calhoon & Associates at 1-877-291-9675.

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Calhoon & Associates
2411 North Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: 717-695-4722
Toll Free: 877-291-WORK (9675)
Fax: 717-695-4988
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Calhoon & Associates
14 North Main Street
Chambersburg, PA 17201
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Calhoon & Associates

2411 North Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: 717-695-4722
Fax: 717-695-4988

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