Results of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation and Workplace Safety 2013 Annual Report

07.29.14

Category: Pennsylvania

July 29, 2014
 
There was a decrease of 1.9 percent in overall Petition filings from 2012, according to the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Workplace Safety 2013 Annual Report issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. This is a significant trend given that the years 2011 and 2012 showed an overall increase in petitions and this reduction brings the overall filings back down to the number of overall petitions in 2010. Also significant is the fact that this reduction occurred despite an increase in reported injuries by about 4,000.
 
The Claim Petition filing remains the largest single type of petition filed, although in 2013, there was a decrease of 1.8 percent from the previous year from 9,451 to 9,280, mirroring the overall decrease of all aggregate petitions submitted to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. The Commonwealth saw decreases in filings for Penalty, Reinstatement and Review petitions at 3.3 percent, 5.4 percent and 4.2 percent respectively. There was a 74.2 percent drop in Supersedeas Fund Reimbursement Petitions from 66 in 2012 to a total of 17 in 2013.
 
Philadelphia County reported the overall largest reduction in petitions (down 1011) from 9,958 to 8,947, while York County reported the overall largest increase (up 152) from 1,139 to 1,291. Montgomery County had the second largest decrease (down 204) while Delaware County had the second largest increase (up 147) from 2,635 to 2,782.
 
One Petition area which showed a substantial increase in filings was the Employee Challenge, which increased by 9.7 percent. Previously, there was no statistical change in this filing year to year dating back to 2008. Employers are cautioned to aggressively pursue strategies to reduce exposure once a potential Notice of Suspension or Modification is set aside such as being in a position to seek timely independent medical evaluations and to re-offer if possible, the very job that served as the basis for the Notice of Suspension or Modification. Once the Notice of Suspension or Modification is set aside, the employer is obligated to reinstate either total or partial disability benefits. The re-offered job will then serve as the basis for a Suspension or Modification Petition with a request for Supersedeas Relief. All job offers should be accompanied by a Notice of Ability to Return to Work issued either before or in conjunction with the job offer letter.
 
We will continue to monitor trend lines for 2014 and how they may affect the various industries that we serve. We hope this will be helpful in your exposure reduction efforts.
 
For  more information, please contact Peter M. Harrison, at pharrison@wglaw.com or 267.765.4133.

 

Media Contacts

Lexi Burchmore
267.295.3377
lburchmore@wglaw.com

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