You should never have to worry about losing out on workers’ compensation on account of missing a deadline. Time is very important if you want to successfully apply for benefits and if you decide to appeal a denial later on. Fortunately, state deadlines are not hard to understand.
The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry explains crucial deadlines that an injured worker should keep in mind throughout the process of applying for and receiving benefits.
Deadlines for notifying an employer
Your employer must know about your injury in order to begin the workers’ comp process. You should not hesitate for too long since you may need timely medical treatment, plus you do not want your deadline to expire before taking action. The state of Pennsylvania gives workers 120 days from the time of a workplace injury to give notice to an employer.
Deadlines for claim petitions
It is possible your employer or your employer’s insurer will deny your initial request for workers’ comp benefits. If so, you have a longer span of time in which to file a petition to appeal the denial. The state allows injured workers three years following a workplace injury to file an appeal.
Deadlines for occupational disease claims
Your health problems may stem from an occupational disease, which you may not recognize until after you have left your job. Pennsylvania allows workers who suffer from an occupational disease to file a claim no later than 300 weeks from their last date of employment at the place that caused the injury or disability. You must also file a petition within three years of the date of the injury or disability.
Deadlines for benefit suspension and termination
In the event your employer’s insurer suspends or terminates your benefits, you have time to file a petition to have your benefits reinstated. In the event of termination, you must file your petition no longer than three years following the date of your most recent workers’ comp check. Similarly, you have 500 weeks after your date of suspension to appeal suspended benefits.
Since many state deadlines offer a broad period of time, there is a good chance you may meet them without a problem. Still, acting as soon as possible may diminish the chance that you will lose out on benefits.