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.

Labor Market Surveys – Benefits Can Be Modified Based Upon Specific Jobs, Not the “Average” Job

In Marx v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (United Parcel Service), the Commonwealth Court held that, when modifying a claimant’s wages based upon a labor market survey, a WCJ is not obligated to average the wages of the jobs in the survey. Rather, the WCJ may modify the claimant’s benefits based upon the highest paying position among those found to be within the claimant’s physical and vocational capabilities.

March 2010 Edition
Volume IV
Number 3

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Employees With No Fixed Job Location Not Always Entitled To Benefits While Commuting

In a decision that will certainly cause more litigation, the Commonwealth Court, in Mackey v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Maxim Health Care Services), has ruled that, although employees without a fixed place of employment are generally eligible for benefits for injuries sustained traveling to and from a job, a nurse without a fixed place of employment who was injured while traveling to the home of a patient for whom she had cared for quite a while, was not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, thus distinguishing this case from the Supreme Court’s opinion in Peterson, 528 Pa. 279 (1991).

A WCJ Must Consider All Accepted Injuries

That’s the holding in Mino v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Crime Prevention Association), in which the Commonwealth Court ruled that a WCJ’s Decision terminating benefits must be based upon a conclusion that the claimant had recovered from the acknowledged work injuries and any injuries additionally recognized by any other WCJ.

A Payment Occurs When the Funds are Available

A payment under the Workers’ Compensation Act occurs when the funds are made available by virtue of a deposit or cashing of a check, and not when the check is issued or received, according to the Commonwealth Court in Barrett v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Vision Quest National).

Separate UR Petitions for Everyone

An employer must file a separate Utilization Review petition for each provider; consequently, a review of one provider’s treatment cannot be expanded to include review of another provider’s treatment. This applies even, as in this case, when a claimant receives physical therapy from multiple therapists in the same office. So ruled the Commonwealth Court in MV Transportation v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Harrington).

Reinstate Benefits When a Claimant’s Job is Eliminated

In Polis v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board, (Verizon Pennsylvania, Inc.), the Commonwealth Court ruled that when a claimant’s modified duty job is eliminated and no other work is made available with his medical restrictions, the worker is entitled to a reinstatement of benefits. An employer is entitled to a credit for any severance benefits paid to the worker.