Pennsylvania Heart and Lung Act | PA Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Date: September 1, 2020
Posted In: DLP Law

Who Is Covered By The Pennsylvania Heart and Lung Act

The Pennsylvania Heart and Lung Act covers fire, police and state correctional employees.  The Act provides that workers who are totally disabled from these positions are entitled to their full salary and any other benefits they currently would be receiving but for the work injury.

Heart and Lung Act and Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Benefits including the full salary that the individual would receive, while disabled under this Act, are not subject to state or federal taxes.  Medical expenses are covered under the Act and there are no co-pays.

It was the legislative intent to provide these individuals, who work for the public safety and are considered high risk, with the most protection when injured in the line of duty.

There is a limit though to these benefits which is either when the injured worker returns to their regular duty or when it is determined that the injury will be permanent and forever prevent the injured worker from returning to active duty.  When it is determined that the injury is permanent, the injured worker would then be entitled to Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits which is an entirely different set of laws.

In most circumstances, these workers would be paid two-thirds of what their average weekly wage was in workers’ compensation benefits.  These benefits also are not taxable.  Similar to the Pennsylvania Heart and Lung Act, the workers’ compensation carrier would be responsible for all work-related medical bills incurred by the injured worker for an indefinite period of time.

Normally, the work injury is recognized by both the workers’ compensation carrier, under the Workers’ Compensation Act, as well as the employer, under the Heart and Lung Act.  While the injured worker cannot collect benefits under both Acts, at the same time, the injured worker typically gets heart and lung benefits and receives a check from the workers’ compensation carrier which needs to be handed over to the employer.  The employer, in turn, pays one hundred percent of the injured worker’s benefits.

Of great importance is that, if the injured worker retains an attorney, the twenty percent standard attorney’s fee is subtracted from the workers’ compensation check that goes to the employer.  The employer is still obligated to pay one hundred percent of the full heart and lung benefits and basically ends up paying the attorney’s fee for the injured worker.

What Should I Do If I Have Additional Questions Or Have A Problem With My Employer Over Heart And Lung Benefit?

An employee should hire an attorney experienced with providing legal representation to Heart and Lung Act employees. Retaining an experienced attorney will ensure that you have adequate representation during the administrative hearing. If the outcome of the hearing is not favorable, the decision can be appealed as well. This should be done by a competent workers’ compensation attorney. An attorney may advise you to continue with the appeal, or to seek benefits under Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation Act. Contact our workers’ compensation law office to discuss your claim for benefits in confidence. We can provide you with legal advice and guidance on how to best proceed. Remember— Injury? Call DLP! (570) C-A-L-L-D-L-P.

Cal Leventhal
Cal is a graduate of the University of Miami (magna Cum Laude) and attended Loyola and Notre Dame law schools graduating in 1976. He is admitted to the Bars of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and both state and federal trial and appellate courts situated in Pennsylvania.