How Long Does it Take to Get Workers’ Compensation in Pennsylvania?

how long workers compensation

You may be frustrated and confused when you are unable to work because of an injury.  Between the physical pain and mental anguish, you may be unable to do much about it for some time. One of the things that you have to look forward to after a work injury is your workers’ compensation check.

Pennsylvania has a waiting period to start getting your workers’ comp benefits. Every injured worker wants to know: how long does it take to get a workers’ comp check?

How Many Days Until Workers’ Comp Pays?

Usually, it takes roughly a month, but there are variables that affect this timeline.

Like most states, Pennsylvania has a waiting period before you can start getting benefits. This waiting period lets the insurance company and employer investigate your claim, speak to your doctor, and address any administrative issues that are necessary. The wait is difficult for many workers, but some insurance companies will choose to pay benefits faster than others. 

The timeline starts with you reporting your injury to the employer. In general, employers are required to report injuries to their insurer as soon as an employee reports the incident to them. This sometimes takes a day or two.

Your employer must also file a First Report of Injury with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation within seven days of an injury that results in a disability lasting more than one day or one shift.

Then, the employer or its insurance company has 21 days to decide whether it will accept or reject your claim. This 21-day period is often referred to as the “waiting period.” You will get retroactive payments for the period before this 21-day period if you are off work for more than 14 days.

If the insurance company or employer accepts your claim, then you can expect workers’ compensation checks within roughly 28 days of your date of injury.

How Long Does It Take for Workmans’ Comp to Pay if the Insurance Company Doesn’t Accept the Claim Right Away?

If the insurance company denies your claim, your wait to get full benefits could be much, much longer.

First, the insurance company can ask for more time to investigate your claim. They will file a Notice of Temporary Compensation Payable and ask for an additional 90 days to do their investigation.

Thankfully, you can get benefits during this period. However, the insurance company or employer has not accepted full responsibility for your work injury if they file this type of notice.

If the employer or its insurance company stops payment during this period, they will also give you one of three types of notice:

  • Notice of Workers’ Compensation Denial
  • Notice of Compensation Payable
  • Agreement for Compensation

One of these three forms must be filed within the 90-day extension period. If no form is submitted, then your benefits automatically “convert” to an accepted claim.

If your workers’ comp claim is denied, benefits will stop, including medical benefits, and you may need to start litigation to get compensation.

How Long Does Workers’ Comp Take if the Claim is Denied?

If your claim is denied, either right away or during the Temporary Compensation period, the path to full benefits can take some time.

You will receive a Notice of Workers’ Compensation Denial from your employer if your claim is denied. Then, from your employer’s standpoint, your case is closed. You must take action and appeal your workers’ comp decision if you feel like you should be getting more benefits, or your claim should have been accepted.

First, you have up to three years from the date of the injury or the date of your last payment of benefits to start a litigated workers’ compensation claim. The sooner you begin this process, the sooner you can get benefits.

Going through a contested workers’ compensation case can take a considerable amount of time. In some situations, the cases can take years. On average, however, most cases are finished within 18 months, and then it takes more time for the judge to make a decision. Depending on the judge, you may have to wait for an additional 8 to 12 months.

The employer then has the option to appeal the decision if they lose. An appeal process sometimes takes an additional year as well, but it could be another 18 months to two-year waiting period again.

Don’t Wait to Get Help with Your Workers’ Comp Claim

We know how much you rely on your workers’ compensation payments, and we will not waste any time taking action to help you get medical and wage benefits.

Our team has the experience you need to move the case along quickly. If you would like to schedule a free consultation, email us or call 877-794-2396.