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Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Pennsylvania

Workers' Compensation Insurance in Pennsylvania

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If your business has employees in the state of Pennsylvania, you’ll need to make sure you adhere to Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance laws. Workers’ Compensation provides medical and financial benefits for employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses or for their survivors in the case of an employee death.

Who needs Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania requires all employers who have at least one employee to obtain Workers’ Compensation Insurance. In Pennsylvania, an “employee” is generally defined as any individual who performs service for another in exchange for any sort of compensation. 

The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act (WCA) defines all of the requirements for Workers’ Comp in Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (PDLI) monitors, enforces, and administers the program. Ensuring your company is in compliance is critical, as there are serious penalties and fines for those who fail to abide by state regulations.

What employees are covered under Workers’ Compensation in Pennsylvania?

Almost all workers are covered under Workers’ Compensation in Pennsylvania. If you provide work or services for an employer, and you are not an independent contractor, you will likely be eligible for Workers’ Compensation Insurance. 

The following are categories of employees that are eligible for Workers’ Comp coverage:

The following are categories of employees that are generally excluded from Workers’ Comp coverage:

What Workers’ Compensation benefits do employees receive?

Under Workers’ Compensation in Pennsylvania, employers are required to provide the following benefits to employees who are injured in the course of employment:

Medical Benefits

Total Disability Benefits 

Partial Disability Benefits

Specific Loss Benefits

Disfigurement Benefits

Death Benefits

What are the penalties for breaking Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation laws?

Failure to adhere to the Workers’ Compensation laws set out by the WCA can result in significant fines and even imprisonment. In order to avoid any costly penalties, it’s important to consult the WCA or your insurer to ensure you are in compliance. Below are the major ways in which companies can be penalized:

Failure to Maintain Coverage


How much does Workers’ Compensation Insurance cost in Pennsylvania?

According to the National Academy of Social Insurance Workers’ Compensation Report (November 2020), the average employer cost for Workers’ Compensation in Pennsylvania was $1.35 per $100 of covered wages. This figure is estimated across all insurers and all industries, so the cost to your particular business may vary.

How does the Workers’ Compensation claims process work in Pennsylvania?

The claims process in Pennsylvania begins with the employee. If an employee suffers a work-related injury or illness, he or she must report the condition to the employer in writing within 21 days of the injury or accident. Any delay in reporting may result in delays in the claims process or denial of the claim.

Employers  must provide a report to the PDLI and their insurer for any worker injury that results in a disability lasting longer than one day. Reports of worker fatalities must be filed within 48 hours, and all other injury reports must be filed within seven days.

Employers must promptly investigate the incident and  approve or deny the claim within 21 days of being notified of the accident. If the claim is approved, the insurer must begin paying benefits to the injured employee within 21 days of being notified of the accident.

If a claim is denied, the employer or insurer must notify the employee in writing, along with any applicable medical providers and the PDLI. Employees have up to three years to file a claim petition to dispute a denial. 

Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Insurance Resources

For more information on Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation laws and requirements, please visit the following resources:

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