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.

Unreasonable Contest Fees Must Be Based on Particular Issue, Not the Entire Case

In Pennsylvania State University v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Sox), the Commonwealth Court affirmed that the amount of attorney's fees assessed against an employer for unreasonable contest must be based upon the time expended upon the particular issue being contested, and not the entire claim.

January 2014 Edition
Volume VIII
Number 1

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Calculation of Fatal Claim Benefits

When the surviving spouse, who is receiving fatal claim benefits, dies, any remaining dependents of the original deceased are entitled to continued benefits in the amount they would have received had the widow not survived the deceased. So ruled the Commonwealth Court in Wilson v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Co.

Fee Reviews – Challenge the Bill Not the Provider

In Selective Insurance Co. v. Bureau of Workers' Compensation Fee Review Hearing Office (The Physical Therapy Institute), the Commonwealth Court ruled that the Bureau of Workers' Compensation Fee Review Hearing Office lacks jurisdiction over an insurer's challenge as to whether a billing agency is a medical provider.

UROs & Jurisdiction

An oral account of a claimant's medical treatment does not constitute a "record" for purposes of rendering a utilization review determination, according to the Commonwealth Court in Leventakos v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Spyros Painting). Thus, because the provider did not provide any written documentation, the WCJ lacked jurisdiction over an appeal of a UR determination.

Setting Aside Final Receipts and Suspension Notifications

While Final Receipts are not very common, Notices of Suspension are, and the Commonwealth Court addressed them in Kraeuter v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Ajax Enters., Inc.), holding that an n insurance company has an affirmative duty to ensure the requirements for a Final Receipt (or Notice of Suspension) have been met before preparing and presenting a Final Receipt or other document to a claimant.