Workers’ Compensation Appeals

Appealing a Workers’ Compensation Claim

Front loaderIf you have filed a legitimate workers’ compensation claim, only to have it denied, you are not alone. Many valid claims are initially rejected, for a variety of reasons. But you are not without remedies, even if your claim is turned down by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier.

The Initial Approval or Denial of Your Claim

Under Pennsylvania law, your employer must generally notify you within 21 days whether your claim has been approved or rejected. If your claim is rejected, it is technically considered to be closed. However, under the appeals provisions of the state workers’ compensation law, you have up to three years to file a Claim Petition.

The Appeals Process

Once you file a Claim Petition, your case is assigned to a workers’ compensation judge by the workers’ compensation bureau in the county where you live. You will then receive notice of the date, place and time of a hearing administered by the judge.

At that hearing, the workers’ compensation judge typically gathers evidence from both sides (employer and employee), as well as any other potential witnesses. If necessary, the judge may schedule multiple hearings and solicit additional evidence, including medical testimony.

The judge can render a decision immediately, but customarily sends the case to mediation. If mediation does not successfully resolve the issue, the parties can ask the judge to conduct a settlement conference.

If the case does not settle, the workers’ compensation judge will make a decision and file a written opinion and verdict. Either party has the right to file an appeal with the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board within 20 day from the date the initial decision is rendered. If one of the parties is dissatisfied with the Appeal Board’s decision, that party can appeal to the Commonwealth Court, but must do so within 30 days. That decision is also subject to review—appeals to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court need to be filed within 30 days of the date the Commonwealth Court’s decision is handed down.

Contact Aronberg, Kouser, Snyder & Lindemann, P. A., Attorneys at Law

At Aronberg, Kouser, Snyder & Lindemann, P. A., we have more than 35 years of experience helping people in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Contact us by e-mail or call our office at 856-429-1700. Your initial consultation is free.

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