COVID-19 and Workers’ Compensation: What Happens After a Layoff?

by Karl Voigt Just last week, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, over 3 million workers nationwide were laid off due to mandatory or economic employer closings. And more people are expected to file in the upcoming weeks. While we all hope for a quick resolution to the crisis, there is some remedy for injured workers … Continue reading COVID-19 and Workers’ Compensation: What Happens After a Layoff?

Insurance Medical Exams and Workers’ Compensation

by Karl Voigt When you have been injured at work, you and your treating physician make the important decisions. Both of you weigh treatment options and decide the best course of care. However, the workers' compensation insurance company has a statutory right to get opinions from a third-party doctor in what they call an "independent … Continue reading Insurance Medical Exams and Workers’ Compensation

COVID-19 Update: Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation

by Karl Voigt In accord with the executive order issued by Governor Wolf last week, the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Bureau has in essence shut down its operations in eastern and central Pennsylvania. Most hearings and mediations scheduled to take place between now and March 27, 2020 have been canceled. These events will be rescheduled at … Continue reading COVID-19 Update: Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation

Pennsylvania Announces 2020 Average Weekly Wage

by Karl VoigtPennsylvania’s Secretary of Labor and Industry has announced the 2020 Statewide Average Weekly Wage. This figure serves as the basis for determining the maximum and minimum weekly Workers’ Compensation benefit rates in Pennsylvania. The figure has increased 3% to $1081 from the 2019 average of $1049. This increase affects the weekly rates paid … Continue reading Pennsylvania Announces 2020 Average Weekly Wage

Pennsylvania Announces 2019 Average Weekly Wage

by Karl Voigt Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Labor and Industry has announced the 2019 Statewide Average Weekly Wage. This figure serves as the basis for determining the maximum and minimum weekly Workers’ Compensation benefit rates in Pennsylvania. The figure has increased 2.3% to $1049 from the 2018 average of $1025. This increase affects the weekly rates … Continue reading Pennsylvania Announces 2019 Average Weekly Wage

Tesla: Environment Friendly But Not So Injured Worker Friendly

by Karl Voigt An industrial laborer fractures his ankle on an assembly line. He goes to his employer's infirmary, receives some perfunctory first aid and is immediately sent back to work full duty, unable to even stand on his injured foot. Which in turn increases the likelihood of further injury - not just to him … Continue reading Tesla: Environment Friendly But Not So Injured Worker Friendly

Governor Wolf Signs Workers’ Compensation Bill – Act 111

by Karl Voigt Yesterday, October 24, Governor Tom Wolf, signed into law as Act 111 a bill that resurrects impairment ratings for injured workers in Pennsylvania. Impairment rating evaluations (IREs) allow insurance companies to subject an injured worker to a medical exam after receiving benefits for 104 weeks. The stricken 1996 law, if the worker … Continue reading Governor Wolf Signs Workers’ Compensation Bill – Act 111

Governor Wolf Introduces Opioid Prescribing Guidelines for Workers’ Compensation Patients

by Karl Voigt This week, Pennsylvania Governor Wolf launched opioid prescribing guidelines for workers' compensation claimants, citing the opioid epidemic as its impeller. The Governor stated that Pennsylvania ranks third highest in the nation in the percentage of injured workers who become long-term opioid users. To counter that trend, these guidelines, which are not intended … Continue reading Governor Wolf Introduces Opioid Prescribing Guidelines for Workers’ Compensation Patients

New Workers’ Comp Bill from Legislature in Light of Governor Wolf’s Veto of Their Last Effort

by Karl Voigt April of this year saw Governor Wolf's veto of Senate Bill 936, which called for a drug formulary for treatment of injured workers. This was a victory for injured workers. Advocates of the formulary claimed that it would have addressed the opioid epidemic and the high cost of compound creams. Opponents maintained … Continue reading New Workers’ Comp Bill from Legislature in Light of Governor Wolf’s Veto of Their Last Effort

Yet Another Workers’ Compensation Act Proposed in PA Senate

by Karl Voigt Yet another piece of proposed legislation is circulating in the Pennsylvania legislature. Senate Bill 1052 proposes that older occupational disease cases - with symptoms that may take years to manifest - be limited to the Workers’ Compensation system. As an example, asbestosis and mesothelioma cases would be brought back before Workers’ Compensation … Continue reading Yet Another Workers’ Compensation Act Proposed in PA Senate