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Learn about Pennsylvania's workers' compensation program

Pennsylvania's workers' compensation system is a no-fault insurance system that covers workers who are hurt on the job. It provides them with coverage for lost wages and medical expenses. It does not, however, cover non-economic damages -- so workers can't pursue pain and suffering damages through workers' compensation.

Workers' compensation is a great way to guarantee that you'll have insurance coverage if you're hurt on the job. However, there are some times when the compensation you're seeking will be restricted or unavailable.

For example, if you wait too long to file a claim, can't prove that your injury is related to your work or fail to show that you suffered any significant injury, you may not be able to have your claim approved. Additionally, if you caused your own injuries intentionally, the likelihood is that you will not be able to make a viable claim.

Do all employers carry workers' compensation insurance?

Not all employers carry workers' comp coverage, but many do -- and most are required to by law. Even then, however, there are some limitations on coverage. Some employees who may not qualify for workers' compensation include railroad workers, domestic servants (in some instances), agricultural workers who are hired for 30 days or less or make less than $1,200 a year or one of several others. Even federal employees are not eligible for state workers' compensation benefits.

If you get hurt on the job, you should let your employer know right away and find out if you have access to workers' compensation benefits. If you do, then you can file a claim and turn in your medical documents to obtain coverage.

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