Seven Days- Threshold Requirement In A Pa. Workers Compensation Case

Date: December 10, 2014

SEVEN. As in SEVEN days. Seven is the number of days one must be disabled from work in order to collect workers compensation wage loss benefits in Pennsylvania. For example, lets’ say that Joe injures his back at work on Monday, December 1, 2014. Joe reports the injury to his supervisor who sends Joe to the medical clinic. The doctor at the medical clinic examines Joe, diagnoses a back strain and gives Joe a slip excusing him from work until his next doctor’s appointment which is scheduled for Thursday, December 4. Joe returns to the doctor on Thursday and is feeling much better. The doctor releases Joe to go back to full duty work and Joe returns to work on Friday, December 5. In Joe’s case, he would not be entitled to any wage loss benefits as his disability was less that 7 days.

Then we have Al. Al also injured his back at work on December 1. Al likewise reported his injury to his boss and was sent to see he doctor. The doctor who examined Al and gave Al a “no work” slip excusing Al from work until his next appointment on December 4. Al’s condition was improved, but he was not back to his old self. So the doctor gave Al a slip keeping Al out of work for another week until his next appointment on December 10. Thankfully, Al was feeling great on December 10, and the doctor released Al to full duty work. In Al’s case, he would be entitled to receive wage loss benefits for three (3) days. If disability extends beyond seven (7) days but less than fourteen (14) days, wage loss compensation is paid for each particular day of disability extending from day 8 to day 13.

Finally, we have Harry. Harry injured his back at work on December 1. Harry’s injury was quite severe and he was taken by ambulance from his employer’s place of business to the hospital. Harry’s injury required surgery which was performed on December 9. This surgery will preclude Harry from working for the three to six months. So Harry’s disability will be lengthy. In Pennsylvania workers compensation cases, if disability extends to 14 days or more, wage loss compensation benefits are payable retroactive to day 1. Barring a miraculous recovery, Harry’s claim will be accepted and his wage loss benefits will commence as of December 1, the day he was injured.

If you’ve suffered a work injury and have questions about your claim, contact me at or call (570) 347-1011 for a free consultation.

Tom Cummings
Thomas P. Cummings has been a Partner with Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP since 1996 and has been with the firm since 1991. He focuses his practice on workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability and personal injury cases.