Your employer can try to stop your Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits if they believe you can return to your previous job or another job that pays equal pay, or file to modify your benefits if they believe you can work a “light duty” job. You will need to counter their arguments to keep the workers’ compensation benefits you currently receive, and you only have a short time to act.
If you receive notice that your employer wants to terminate, suspend, or modify your workers’ compensation benefits, you need to contact a Pittsburgh workers’ compensation attorney right away. The Berger and Green team can help.
Your Employer Can Petition to Terminate Your Compensation Benefits
If you receive a notice in the mail of a “Petition to Modify, Suspend, or Terminate,” we recommend you reach out to an attorney familiar with the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act as soon as possible. This notice means your employer filed a petition to stop or change the workers’ compensation benefits you currently receive.
In general, they should only win this petition if they can prove you can return to work or that the issues keeping you from returning to work are unrelated to your on-the-job injury or illness. However, you do not want to take chances with your workers’ compensation coverage.
It is important to call the Berger and Green team right away when you receive this type of notice. There are often very short deadlines to counter their claim, and we will need time to review your case and gather information about your condition.
How Your Employer Could Stop Your PA Workers’ Compensation Benefits
When your employer files a petition to terminate or modify your workers’ compensation benefits, they are formally asking the PA Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to change or stop the partial wage benefits and other coverage you currently receive. This is typically based on:
- A report from their recommended physician that you can return to work; or
- A report from another doctor that you can return to work; or
- A report from a doctor that releases you for “light duty” work
To win their case, they will need to prove there is no medical evidence to show you continue to suffer pain or impairment. They will likely present not only the notice from the doctor but medical expert testimony to try to prove their case.
Usually, this occurs when the company’s physician clears you to work, and another doctor you are seeing disagrees or when the physician clears you for light duty, and you do not feel capable of handling the job duties.
We can build our own case by presenting evidence of your current medical condition, your impairments, and other reasons why you cannot return to work. We can use your medical records and medical expert witnesses to prove our case, as well.
Fighting to Keep Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits Is Key
The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act provides most workers in the state with insurance coverage in the event they suffer injuries at work or come down with a work-related illness. This insurance is often the only source of income for injured workers and their families. It pays out to cover medical care costs, partial missed wages, and other benefits.
When something threatens these payments before you can return to work, it can create overwhelming stress and panic. You do not have to face this on your own. A Pittsburgh-area workers’ compensation attorney from Berger and Green can explain your rights and represent you during this process.
Berger and Green Can Help You Fight Your Employer’s Efforts to Stop Your Benefits
After your employer files a petition to stop or change your workers’ compensation benefits, the court will schedule a hearing in front of a Workers’ Compensation Judge. It could take some time before this date arrives, and you will continue to receive your benefits during this period. The Berger and Green team can build a solid case and represent you during this hearing.
At the hearing, the insurance company’s attorneys will present their case, and we will represent you and present a counter-argument. Then, the Judge will make a decision based on the evidence presented.
In addition, our team can also explain alternative benefits including Social Security Disability and review your case to determine if there is another party whose negligence led to your injuries. While we cannot file a suit against your employer, sometimes other parties may be liable.
Talk to a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Pittsburgh
If your employer is challenging your workers’ compensation benefits in Pittsburgh or greater Allegheny County, the attorneys from Berger and Green can help. Call us today at 412-661-1400 for a case review at no cost to you.