Workers' Comp In-Cites
Welcome to the latest edition of Schaff & Young’s Workers’ Comp In-Cites. Designed to provide our clients with practical insight, Workers’ Comp In-Cites outlines recent developments in Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law and explains how those decisions impact our clients and their cases. Barbara Young, Michael Schaff and the other attorneys at Schaff & Young, P.C. are always available to discuss these cases – or any other questions or concerns you might have. Just give us a call at (215) 988-0090 or send an email to info@schaffyoung.com. We look forward to hearing from you.
Filing Deadline for Scars is Three Years
In Kelley v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Standard Steel), the Commonwealth Court clarified the deadline for filing a petition seeking benefits for a permanent disfiguration. The Court held that, under Section 413(a) of the Act, the petition must be filed within three (3) from the date on which the scar became permanent.

April 2007 Edition
Volume 1
Number 4
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Penalties, Reinstatement & Unreasonable Contest
In Jordan v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Philadelphia Newspapers, Inc.), the Commonwealth Court emphasized the need for employers and carriers to comply with the Workers’ Compensation Act and to issue appropriate documents. Although the facts of Jordan are a bit complicated, the Court’s rulings were not. The Court affirmed that when seeking to modify benefits from partial disability to total disability, a claimant must establish that his or her physical condition has changed such that reinstatement is warranted.

Of greater significance, however, are the Court’s ruling about penalties and unreasonable contest. With regard to penalties, the Court ruled that, absent an abuse of discretion, a Court will not overturn or modify a Workers’ Compensation Judge’s assessment of penalties, and that the Appeal Board erred by reducing an award from 50 percent to 20 percent. The Court also held that a contest is unreasonable when an employer is aware that an injury is work-related and fails to issue a Notice of Compensation Payable. In Jordan, the Court noted that the Notice of Compensation Denial stated that an injury had occurred.