In the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, there are general provisions that allow the payment of compensation for amputations or permanent loss of use of body parts, some loss of hearing and loss of eyesight, and certain disfiguring scarring. These provisions are referred to as specific loss. It is possible that if you have a work injury causing any of these conditions, even if you did not miss any time from work, that you may be entitled to specific loss benefits.
In order to have some uniformity, the Act sets forth the categories of disfigurement and specific loss. Scarring or disfigurement must be above the clavicle to be considered. With scarring claims, they are viewed by the attorney representing the injured worker, the attorney representing the employer/workers’ compensation carrier, and the assigned workers’ compensation judge. The injured worker testifies as to how the injury took place, and the parties literally measure and describe the scarring on the record, with a court reporter making a record of the hearing. If the parties cannot come to an agreement on the dollar amount to settle the scarring claim, the workers’ compensation judge will make a decision as to the number of weeks at the compensation rate to arrive at a lump sum amount to be paid to the injured worker and will issue a written Order and Decision on the matter.
There are numerous complicating issues that can occur with specific loss cases such as statute of limitations, healing periods, injuries separate and apart. It is best to consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to determine what your case involves and what benefits you may be entitled to and not even realize it.
In addition to regular benefits, workers’ compensation attorney Paula Robinson can help you receive benefits for loss of your vision, partial or total blindness, benefits for loss of hearing, partial or total deafness, benefits for disfigurement, including dental and facial breaks and deformities, benefits for any scarring above the collar line, of the neck, face, and head, benefits for total and partial amputations to arms, fingers, legs and toes. These injuries may or may not be in conjunction with another work injury, and even if you can continue working, you may be entitled to specific, hearing or vision loss benefits. At Robinson Law, we have helped workers obtain specific loss benefits for missing teeth, eye injuries, scarring, and partial and total loss of fingers, toes, and limbs.