Employers in Pennsylvania must purchase workers’ compensation insurance. If you suffer a qualifying injury at work, you can file a claim with the state to cover medical bills, a portion of lost wages and other costs associated with the injury.

Follow these steps to apply for Pennsylvania workers’ compensation payments.

Seek medical attention

After a workplace injury, seek medical help right away and carefully document the treatment you receive. Your employer can require you to choose an approved doctor within the 90-day period after the injury. After 90 days, you can choose your own health care provider.

Notify your employer

To receive benefits that start on the date of the injury, you must notify your employer about the injury within 21 days. If you do not start this process within 120 days, you may not be able to pursue workers’ compensation. Once you provide notice in writing, your employer will notify its insurance provider. The insurer has 21 days to approve or deny the claim. To learn more about the process, talk with the company’s human resources department.

Apply with the state

Your employer may send the state Department of Labor and Industry a first report of injury form. They must do so within seven days of the first shift you miss because of the injury. However, you can also start this process independently as long as you do so within three years of the injury.

Once the insurer approves your claim, you will receive a Notification of Compensation Payable form that details your benefits. Payments should begin right away.

When your claim receives a denial, you have the right to an appeal. Because the insurer may not have your best interests in mind when making a claim determination, you may also want to consult a professional who can advocate on your behalf. Although the company receives protection from a lawsuit by carrying workers’ compensation insurance, this is not the case if their insurer wrongly denies your claim.

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