In Pennsylvania, one of the benefits available through workers’ compensation insurance after a workplace injury or illness is a “specific loss” benefit. This includes coverage for situations that include:
- Loss of use of a body part
- Loss of an important body function
- Scarring and disfigurement
You may be able to recover a set amount of time away from work and payments for those weeks based on your specific loss or get a lump sum settlement for the payments due to you.
Understanding Specific Loss and Disfigurement Benefits
Under the PA Workers’ Compensation Act, workers who suffer an on-the-job injury are eligible for not only medical care and lost wage benefits but also for other types of benefits. This includes specific loss and disfigurement payouts.
If your workplace injury or illness resulted in permanent scarring, disfigurement, or loss of use of a body part, you may be able to receive specific loss benefits. This is true even if you did not miss a week or more of work.
These benefits are paid in addition to lost wage benefits and may be significant depending on the type of permanent injury you suffered.
Losses That Qualify a Worker for Specific Loss or Disfigurement Benefits
Pennsylvania workers’ compensation policies will only cover specific loss benefits for losses that leave you with a permanent impairment that greatly affects your ability to work and your everyday life. The list of covered losses is somewhat limited, but you might qualify with other injuries based on the details of your employer’s workers’ compensation policy.
In addition to scarring or disfigurement of your head, face, neck, and other visible areas of your body, you may qualify for specific loss benefits if you lose the function of some body parts or lose the part itself to amputation. These body parts include:
- An eye;
- Half a thumb;
- Index finger
- Big toe; or
How Much Your Injury Might Be Worth
If you suffered permanent loss of a bodily function or permanent disfigurement, you are entitled to benefits based on the specific loss you suffered. This can vary greatly depending on the nature of your loss. For example, you will get more covered weeks for amputation of an arm than you will for an index finger or thumb.
Our attorneys can help you understand how much you may be able to receive based on your injury and impairment. The Workers’ Compensation Act includes a predetermined number of weeks’ worth of specific loss payments for your injuries. The amount you may receive per week is based on your average pay before your injury. You can recover these benefits even if you return to work sooner.
We Can Help You Get the Specific Loss and Disfigurement Benefits You Deserve
All too often, an employer or their workers’ compensation insurance provider will deny specific loss benefits to workers entitled to them. Alternatively, employers may use the time included in specific loss benefits to try to limit how long an employee can draw workers’ compensation benefits.
If the insurance company does not offer a fair specific loss or disfigurement agreement, you may need to go in front of a workers’ compensation judge who will review the case. We can represent you during this process and fight for the payout you deserve.
We can also help if your employer tries to limit your lost wage benefits based on the predetermined payout period for a specific loss. If your employer filed a petition to stop your payments but you cannot yet return to work because of other aspects of your injury, we can help you fight to keep your benefits.
Talk to a PA Workers’ Compensation Attorney About Your Specific Loss Benefits
The Pittsburgh workers’ compensation attorneys from Berger and Green can help you get the full benefits you are entitled to based on the facts of your accident and injuries. We can explain your rights under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act and fight for the specific losses and other pay you deserve.
Our founding partner, attorney Laurence B. Green, has 40 years of experience helping Pennsylvania residents get the compensation they need and deserve. Together with the rest of our team, we can review your case, investigate your accident and injuries, and take action to help you secure the benefits you deserve.
Call our office today at 412-661-1400 for a no-cost case review with a member of our workers’ compensation team in Pittsburgh.