If you suffer a work injury in Pennsylvania, and begin receiving wage loss benefits, along with medical benefits, will you always receive the same amount of benefits? The answer to this could be “no” if you received unemployment compensation benefits, severance benefits, social security retirement benefits, or pension benefits. You, as the injured worker must actually receive these benefits, not just be eligible, and must report receipt of these to the workers’ compensation carrier.
How do you report receipt of these above-mentioned benefits while you are also receiving workers’ compensation benefits? The workers’ compensation carrier issues what are called LIBC forms that you as the injured worker must complete, sign and send back within thirty (30) days of receipt of the same. One of these LIBC forms is referred to a “Employee’s Report of Benefits”. It is on this form that you report any receipt of unemployment compensation, pension benefits, severance benefits, or social security retirement benefits. Not only must you report the receipt of these benefits, you must report the net amount received, as opposed to the gross. The workers’ compensation carrier is permitted to send out these LIBC forms to you, as the injured worker once every six (6) months. If the forms are not completed within the requisite thirty (30) days, they can suspend your wage loss benefits until such time as the forms are returned. So, if you receive these forms, whether or not you have received any of the benefits noted on the
form, it is to your benefit to get the forms filled out as soon as possible and send them back.
If the workers’ compensation carrier for your employer is entitled to take an offset, they are required to let you know twenty (20) days before they actually deduct it from your workers’ compensation benefits; however, if evidence is presented to a Workers’ Compensation Judge that there needs to be an offset, the Judge will issue an Order, and then the workers’ compensation carrier is not bound by the twenty (20) day rule.
In this segment, the offsets were briefly mentioned just for awareness of them. The offsets, credits, and subrogation can be confusing and it is best to obtain some legal advice from an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to find out what your obligations are under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act.