If you are receiving both Workers’ Compensation Benefits and Heart and Lung Act benefits, the general rule is that you should be receiving your Workers’ Compensation Benefits at your personal address directly from your Workers’ Compensation Carrier and not from your employer.
There are, however, a few exceptions to this rule:
- If you have executed an Authorization for Alternative Delivery of Compensation Payments (Form LIBC-10) with your employer;
- If some other method of payment delivery is ordered by a workers’ compensation judge; or,
- If the employer is self- insured and does not use a third-party workers’ compensation carrier.
In all other circumstances, workers’ compensation benefit payments shall be mailed by first-class mail to the claimant’s last known address. Bureau Regulation 121.25(1).
Under the Heart & Lung Act, your employer is then required to compensate you for the difference between what you actually receive from the Workers’ Comp carrier and your total salary.
The good news.
The Heart & Lung Act is in many ways more generous than the Workers’ Compensation Act. It provides for payment of full wages, compared to two-thirds of wages in the workers’ compensation system. The Heart & Lung Act states that those individuals in jobs covered by the Heart and Lung Act who are injured in the performance of his or duties and becomes, as a result, temporarily incapacitated from performing his (or her) duties shall be paid his or her full rate of salary until the disability has ceased.
Even better news!
Benefits, such as vacation time and longevity pay are also included along with your full salary; however, overtime compensation is not included in the calculation. You are also entitled to accrue sick leave and can’t be forced to use this sick leave while recovering from an injury covered by the Heart & Lung Act; and, your health insurance benefits must be maintained at the same level the employee and his or her dependants would be entitled to if there had been no injury.
The icing on the cake! Your salary and benefit payments are not taxable!!
State and federal income taxes should not be deducted from your salary (although Medicare and FICA taxes get deducted for the first six months of payments under the Heart & Lung Act, but after six months, the deductions should stop). Previously authorized deductions, such as union dues and pension related and healthcare deductions should also continue.
A cautionary note, however!! If you are receiving your full rate of salary and benefits covered under the Heart & Lung Act – meaning 100% of your salary and benefits, PLUS workers’ compensations benefits, and the two payments add up to well over your full salary and benefits (like, two-thirds over), then you have to give your workers’ compensation check to your employer or you could be charged criminally. If you’re not sure talk to an attorney!