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 We look forward to hearing from you.

Court Approves Supersedeas Fund Reimbursement from Third Party Claim Reimbursement

In Department of Labor and Industry v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Excelsior Insurance), the Commonwealth Court ruled that an insurer is entitled to Supersedeas Fund reimbursement for compensation paid from the date supersedeas was requested to the date of the Third Party settlement, and also for payments made during the insurer’s grace period, when the Compromise & Release Agreement, which approved a Third-Party settlement, deliberately left open the resolution of a pending modification petition, which was later granted. Thus, in the context of Supersedeas Fund reimbursement, an insurer is not required to assume the costs of recovering a third party settlement for periods where compensation was not in fact payable.

February 2010 Edition
Volume IV
Number 2

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Employer May Obtain Suspension of Benefit When a Worker Says He Is Going to Retire

In a Duferco Farrell v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Zuhosky), the Commonwealth Court held that an employer is entitled to a presumption that an injured worker has voluntarily removed himself from the workforce if the claimant has mentioned to the employer that he would like to retire, has taken Social Security retirement benefits, and has taken a union pension, thus permitting the employer to suspend the claimant’s benefits. Judge Friedman dissented, arguing that the Court “should reconsider its elimination of the element of voluntariness in these cases, which ignore the realities of today’s economy.

Suspension of Benefits Appropriate When Claimant Refuses Reasonable Medical Treatment

A Workers’ Compensation Judge may suspend a claimant’s benefits for refusing reasonable medical treatment, in this case, a detox program to reduce toxic doses of medication that would improve the claimant’s ability to function and return to work. That’s the holding of the Commonwealth Court in Bereznicki v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Eat’ N Park Hospitality Group).

Failure to Issue NARW Not Nececessarily Fatal if Employee Returns to Work

That’s the holding of the Commonwealth Court in Ashman v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (HelpMates, Inc. and State Workers’ Insurance Fund), in which the Court conclude that the failure to issue a Notice of Ability to Return to Work does not preclude modification of a claimant’s benefits when the claimant actually returns to work.