The number of furloughs is at historic levels because of Covid-19. Whether you are at work or not because of a temporary layoff, you are still eligible to collect workers’ compensation benefits.
Know Your Rights:
If you were receiving workers’ compensation benefits for an injury that took place before the furlough, you are entitled to continue to receive wage loss benefits. The fact that you were furloughed doesn’t change anything.
If you were back at work partially at the time of being furloughed due to Covid-19, then you were likely receiving partial wage loss benefits. If you are now furloughed, you may be entitled to a full reinstatement of wage benefits. In Pennsylvania, if an injured worker returns to work at a different capacity or with restrictions, and is subsequently laid off, the injured worker has the right to petition for a reinstatement of benefits and is entitled to the presumption that his or her disability (loss of earning power) is causally related to the continuing work injury.
If you were back to work at your regular job at the time you were furloughed, your case may still be open and you may still be eligible for a reinstatement of wage loss benefits. It’s a more difficult burden to meet, but not impossible.
Unfortunately, it is common for an employer to overlook explaining this to an injured worker. Be your own advocate, ask questions. And continue to read articles from certified workers’ compensation attorneys, like Jim from the Law Offices of James V. Monaghan.