Workers’ Compensation in Pennsylvania: Am I eligible?


Most Pennsylvania workers are covered by the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act

If you are injured on the job or sustain a work-related illness, chances are you are eligible for workers’ compensation under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act (“Act”). Employers in the Commonwealth must provide workers’ compensation coverage to almost every single employee, even if their employees are seasonal or part-time workers. Employers that must provide coverage even include nonprofit corporations, unincorporated businesses, and employers that have as little as one employee.

Additional Workers’ Compensation Laws

In addition to the coverage provided under the Act, other workers’ compensation laws may apply to other types of employees. You may be covered under an additional law if you are a:

  • Federal civilian employee
  • Railroad worker
  • Longshoreman
  • Shipyard worker
  • Harbor worker

Who is Not Eligible for Workers’ Compensation

Although most employees are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits under the Act, it is important to remember that there are exceptions. The following types of employees may not be eligible for benefits:

  • Volunteer workers
  • Agricultural laborers
  • Casual employees
  • Domestics
  • Employees who have been granted a personal religious exemption from the Act
  • Executive officers who have been granted exemption from the Act
  • Employees whose injuries or deaths were intentionally self-inflicted
  • Employees whose injuries or deaths were the result of a violation of the law
  • Employees whose injuries or deaths were caused by intoxication

I am eligible for workers’ compensation. When am I covered?

Your coverage begins the day you are hired.

If you are injured on the job or sustain a work-related illness, with workers’ compensation coverage, you may be entitled to:

  • Certain medial benefits
  • Certain rehabilitation benefits
  • Lost wages
  • Specific loss benefits (if you lost an extremity or became disfigured)
  • Death benefits, if applicable

How do I apply for Workers’ Compensation if I am eligible?

After sustaining an on-the-job injury or work-related illness, you should (1) seek immediate medical attention as necessary and then (2) notify your employer as soon as possible. Have your employer file an accident report to document the injury or illness.

In addition to your employer’s report, you should make your own documentation of the illness or injury. Keep an independent record of the date, time, and nature of the injury or illness. Write down the names of any witnesses and other details that may be relevant to your case. This independent record can be extremely beneficial to an employment attorney should you seek legal assistance.

Once you miss a day, shift, or turn of work, your employer must report your injury or illness to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Your employer can either accept or reject your claim. An employment attorney can help you petition a rejected claim.

Talk to an Employment Attorney about Workers’ Compensation

If an employer rejects your claim for workers’ compensation or if you receive a petition in the mail to end, suspend, or modify your benefits in any way, seek legal assistance from an experienced KM&A attorney. If you are eligible for workers’ compensation, we will fight to make sure you get the benefits you deserve. We represent clients in every county in Pennsylvania. Call a lawyer in Pittsburgh at 412-626-5626 or in Philadelphia at 215-618-9185. We can also be reached by email at Don’t hesitate to contact us for a free and immediate consultation regarding your workers’ compensation claim.