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How Long Does Workers’ Comp Last in Pennsylvania?

Written by
A drawing of the lead workers' compensation lawyer for Atticus.
Victoria Muñoz
Lead Attorney
Published July 8, 2024
3 min read
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If you get injured at work, Pennsylvania workers’ compensation pays for medical care and helps you pay your other bills through regular checks. Most workers receive these benefits until they can return to their regular jobs, but benefits can last for years if necessary while you recover.


How long does workers’ comp last in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania is one of a few states where there is no predetermined length of time workers’ comp can last. You can continue collecting workers’ comp benefits for as long as necessary until you recover as much as possible from your injury — a point known as maximum medical improvement (MMI). So how long your payments last depends on your exact injury and your recovery progress.

Situations when your workers’ comp benefits end:

  • You recover and return to your regular job.

  • You reach maximum medical improvement.

  • You sign a settlement agreement with the insurance company.

Medical exam at 104 weeks

Your employer can require a medical examination after 104 weeks of benefits (two years) to verify that you haven’t fully recovered. Getting an exam doesn’t mean your benefits will end, but it is a common point for insurance to reassess your benefits.

If your workers’ comp benefits ever end sooner than you think they should, contact a Pennsylvania workers’ comp lawyer. They’ll help ensure you get the full medical and lost wage benefits you’re entitled to.


How long permanent benefits last

If you reach maximum improvement but haven’t returned to your pre-injury condition, you can transition to long-term workers’ comp benefits, also known as permanent disability benefits.

Permanent doesn’t necessarily mean the benefits will last forever, but you can continue receiving payments for months or years. Your injury, the body part you injured, and your disability rating determine how long permanent benefits last. Your disability rating is given by your workers’ comp doctor they believe you’ve reached MMI. The rating ranges from 1 to 100, with 100% meaning you can never work again. A 100% rating is uncommon.

Regardless of your exact rating, it’s likely that as you approach MMI, the workers’ comp insurance company will try to negotiate a settlement. A settlement is usually one lump-sum payment that you receive in exchange for closing your injury claim.


Workers’ comp payment rates in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, workers’ comp pays at a rate of two-thirds of your average weekly wage (AWW) from the year before your injury.

As an example, if you earned an average of $1,200 per week before taxes, then you’ll be eligible for a workers comp payment worth $900 per week.

There are limits to the payments, though. The minimum payment is $636.50 per week or 90% of your AWW, whichever is less. The maximum workers’ comp payment is $1,325.

If you can do some work while recovering, like if your employer offers you light-duty work, your workers’ comp check will be reduced by your work income.

Learn more about how much Pennsylvania workers’ comp pays.


Who gets a workers’ comp settlement

Most people who get injured in the workplace never receive a settlement offer. If you recover fully and go back to your regular job, then you won’t get a settlement. These payouts are most common if your injury will have a long or unpredictable recovery timeline. Even then, around the time you reach MMI is when you’re most likely to get a settlement offer.


How much is a settlement?

It depends. The average workers’ comp settlement is more than $40,000, but your final payout depends on your lost income and the cost of your medical care. You might get much more or less than the average depending on your exact injuries and your recovery.

In all situations, we recommend talking to a professional — a workers’ comp lawyer — if you're negotiating a settlement. A local lawyer is trained in your local laws and will be able to help you fight for a fair settlement.

The insurance company will be trying to pay you as little as possible to maximize its profits. The insurer will also have a lawyer (or a whole team of them) whose job is to fight for the lowest settlement. Hiring your own lawyer levels the playing field so you can focus on getting better and moving on with your life instead of fighting with lawyers over technicalities.

Learn more about what a workers’ comp lawyer does.


Atticus has answers to your workers’ comp questions

Thousands of Pennsylvanians need workers’ comp benefits every year yet the state workers’ comp program is often difficult to navigate. Managing your injury in addition to insurance, your claims adjuster, and your employer is stressful.

Atticus can help by giving you straight answers to your workers’ comp questions and connecting you with a local workers’ comp lawyer who’s trained to manage claims in your area. Atticus lawyers also offer a free consultation and don’t charge any upfront fees. You don’t have to pay anything until after you get a settlement.

Start with this workers’ comp intake questionnaire and our team will reach out to learn more about your situation and answer any questions you have.

Settle your workers' comp claim today.

Related resources:

5 Common Questions About Workers’ Comp Lawyers

A hand draw portrait of a smiling, helpful lawyer.
By Victoria Muñoz

How Much a Workers’ Comp Lawyer Costs in Every State

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By Victoria Muñoz

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How long ago did you get an injury or illness at work?

A drawing of the lead workers' compensation lawyer for Atticus.

Victoria Muñoz

Lead Attorney

Victoria Muñoz is an attorney on Atticus’s Workers' Compensation team. She’s a licensed attorney, a graduate of Stanford Law School, and has counseled hundreds of people seeking workers' compensation. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and spending time with her pup.
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