What Is the Procedure for Beginning a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Pennsylvania?

If you have suffered a work-related injury, there are several steps that you need to take:

  • First, if necessary seek immediate medical attention.
  • If your injury is not severe enough to need immediate medical attention, immediately notify your supervisor or your employer that you have been injured on the job. In Pennsylvania, a worker has up to 120 days to notify their employer they have suffered a work-related injury. Never wait the full 120 days. Always report the injury as soon as possible. For instance, as soon as you have received medical care, you should report your injury to your supervisor or employer.
  • If you wait longer than 120 days to report your injury to your employer, you will lose your right to qualify for workers’ compensation. If you wait until the very end of your 120 days to report your injury, your employer or their insurance carrier may argue that you are not hurt seriously enough to deserve workers’ comp benefits or it occurred elsewhere. If this happens to you, contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.
  • Reporting a work-related illness can be a bit trickier. Sometimes you are not aware that you have an illness or an occupational disease for weeks or months. As soon as you are diagnosed by your doctor with a work-related injury like carpal tunnel syndrome or an occupational illness, the 120-day time limit begins. As with any work-related injury, you should report your work-related illness as soon as possible to your employer.
  • Once you have reported your work-related illness or injury, your employer has 48 hours to submit this claim to their insurer, who has 21 days to approve or deny your claim.
  • If you report your injury or your illness to your employer as soon as it happens, you are eligible to receive your first workers’ compensation benefits within 21 days of missing your first shift. Receiving your benefits are also dependent on how quickly you filed your injury report, if the insurance company accepted the claim and if you have missed more than seven days on the job.
  • While the insurance company has up to 21 days to affirm or deny your claim, it can issue Notice of Temporary Compensation for 90 days. It may deny your claim at that point.