How Much Is a Work-Related Loss of Limb Worth in Pennsylvania?
If your work causes you injury, illness, or disease, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under Pennsylvania statute. In general, benefits include compensation for medical expenses as well as lost wages, which are typically equal to two-thirds of your pre-injury earnings during the time you are unable to work because of your injury.
Specific Loss Benefits for Loss of Limb
While the two-thirds wage allowance covers the strains and sprains that constitute the majority of workers’ compensation claims, the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act provides for additional benefits, called specific loss awards, if you lose the use of any limb. For every limb you could potentially lose, the law specifies how much you would get paid using a formula that’s based on your pre-injury wage.
The predetermined specific loss awards for loss of limb are:
Limb or Digit
Benefits Paid (in weeks)
Healing Period (in weeks)
So, if you lose your hand or the complete use of your hand in a work accident, you would be awarded an amount equal to 335 weeks of pay for your injury plus 20 weeks’ pay for your specified healing period, for a total of 355 weeks’ payment.
Specific loss benefits can work both in an employee’s favor and against it, depending on the circumstances. If you lose your first finger at work but are able to return to work within a week, you would still receive a payment equivalent to 56 weeks’ pay (50 weeks for your injury plus six weeks for healing). But if you lost your finger and needed 12 weeks to recover before returning to work, your employer would try to limit your payment to 56 weeks.
Hiring a Pennsylvania Lawyer to Help You Recover for Your Loss of Limb Injury
The workers’ compensation system in Pennsylvania is complicated, with very specific deadlines and filing requirements, and you could risk losing important benefits if you fail to comply with them. If you’ve been injured at work and want to pursue workers’ compensation, it’s best not to try to navigate the system alone. Contact an attorney to determine your best options.