If you are an employee of the Clark Summit State Hospital then you get special protection under the Pa. Workers’ Compensation laws. There is a special law known as “Act 534” and it protects employees injured by people committed to the Clark Summit State mental hospital.
Act 534 says that any employee of a State mental hospital or Youth Development Center under the Department of Public Welfare, who is injured on the job by someone confined to the institution or by any person who has been committed to such institution shall be paid, by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, his full salary, until the disability from the injury no longer prevents his or her return as an employee of such department.
The difference with Act 534 is that you are paid a salary equal to that earned at the time of your injury.
This is different from “regular” workers compensation in Pennsylvania. Most employees get only about 66 percent of their wages in workers compensation. But under Act 534, you are allowed to be paid your full salary if you are injured by someone committed to the state hospital.
Act 534 benefits are also handled by different Judges usually with the Bureau of Hearings and Appeals in Harrisburg, not the Workers Compensation Judges that handle “typical” work-related injuries.
All state mental hospital employees should be aware of this special law if they are injured on the job.
This is a complicated question but basically you need to determine your average weekly wage. In most cases, your average weekly wage is found by looking at your total wages for the 12 months before your work injury. Your total wages for the 12 months before your work injury is then split into four quarters. You then add up each quarter. Take the three highest quarters of wages, add them together, and divide by three to get an average. In most cases that will be your average weekly wage. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. And this is not how much workers compensation you will be paid. You need to then look at a chart that is from the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Most of the time (but not always) your weekly workers compensation benefits will be two-thirds (or about 66 percent) of your pre-injury, average weekly wage. There are a lot of cases that discuss how the average weekly wage is calculated.
The New York Times posted an interesting article today about how a sedentary life changes your brain. You can find the article here.
I have seen so many people on workers compensation in Pennsylvania literally lose their minds after they are on workers comp wage loss benefits for too long. Especially men. They do not seem to be able to mentally handle being out of work for long periods of time. In addition to dealing with the stress of their work injury (treatment, doctors, lawyers hearings etc) they are also dealing with the loss of their ability to put food on the table. Women appear to be able to handle this better than men, but in my opinion, both sexes have a very hard time mentally and physically being out of work for extended periods and being physically inactive.
Something to think about when you are injured in a work-related accident in Pennsylvania.
This is a video that I did a while back explaining a Notice of Ability to Return to Work under the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system. Hope you enjoy this video and keep in mind this applies to workers’ compensation claims in Pennsylvania.
Notice of Ability to Return to Work