Posted on May 29, 2009 in Personal Injury
At Galfand Berger our Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorneys practice Philadelphia workers’ comp law and handle workers’ compensation claims throughout Pennsylvania. We have found that many workers are told by their employers to apply for group insurance benefits when they really should be covered by Workers’ Compensation. Group benefits, which also are called “sickness and accident benefits,” or “S&A Benefits,” are disability benefits to which you are entitled if you have a non-work related injury or illness. If your injury or illness is work-related, even partly, you should apply for Workers’ Compensation benefits. Workers’ Compensation benefits are better than group benefits for many reasons:
1. Workers’ Compensation benefits are not subject to income tax, while taxes are deducted from Group Benefits.
2. In Pennsylvania, Workers’ Compensation benefits are two-thirds of your gross pay or a maximum of $662.00 per week (2002 rate), which ever is lower. Group benefits usually are less than $150.00 per week.
3. Total disability benefits under Workers’ Compensation can be paid as long as the disability continues. Group benefits usually are paid for a maximum period of 26 weeks, and in many cases, even less.
4. If you are receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits and return to work at a lower rate of pay because of your injury, you are entitled to weekly compensation benefits equal to two-thirds of your pay loss. Group benefits programs do not provide for partial benefits.
5. Workers’ Compensation provides a comprehensive coverage of your medical expenses. Medical payments under Blue Cross and Blue Shield, or similar coverage, are limited. This means that under group benefits coverage, you have to pay those medical expenses that are not covered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
If you are denied Workers’ Compensation benefits, you should apply for group benefits, and immediately contact an experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer to help you file for Workers’ Compensation benefits. The group insurance carrier is required by law to pay you disability benefits if you are denied Workers’ Compensation benefits. Receiving group benefits will not prevent you from filing a claim for Workers’ Compensation. If you are awarded Workers’ Compensation, you will not be liable for payment of your medical bills and will receive payment equal to the difference between the Workers’ Compensation benefits and the group benefits.
More information on this topic can be found on the Galfand Berger website. Request a copy of our free book: Workers’ Rights to Workers Compensation and find other resources written by our workers’ compensation lawyers.
Joseph LurieGalfand Berger, LLP
1818 Market Street, Suite 2300
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Galfand Berger Philadelphia worker compensation attorneys, who practice Philadelphia workers’ comp law and handle workers’ compensation claims throughout Pennsylvania, discuss the advantages of workers’ compensation benefits over group benefits.