Normally, in order to be entitled to Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits, you must have been injured while in the course and scope of your employment – in other words, while furthering your employer’s business. Generally, if you have a fixed place of employment (i.e., you work at a specific location), if you are not injured on your employer’s property, you may not be entitled to benefits. There are, however, a number of exceptions.
For example, even if an employee is not actually working at the time of an injury, benefits are payable if the employee establishes that: (1) the injury occurred
on the employer’s premises; (2) the nature of the employee’s employment required the employee to be present on the employer’s premises; and (3) the injury was caused by the condition of the premises or by the operation of the employer’s business or affairs
on the premises. Markle v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Bucknell University), 785 A.2d 151, 153 (Pa. Commw. 2001).
Another instance in which an employee may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits even if the injury does not occur on the employer’s premises is when the employee has no fixed place of employment (i.e., is a traveling salesman), or is traveling while in the course and scope of his or her employment.
Finally, if an employee takes a break for personal convenience, and is injured while on that break, workers’ compensation benefits may still be due.
Although Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits normally are payable only for injuries that occur on the employer’s premises, a number of exceptions to this rule exist. If your injury fits into one of these exceptions, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.