- Claimant is Not Entitled to Payment of Wage Loss and Medical Benefits from the Uninsured Employers Guaranty Fund until Notice to the Fund Is Given by the Claimant
- August 3, 2016 | Author: Francis X. Wickersham
- Law Firm: Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, P.C. - King Of Prussia Office
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Labor and Industry Uninsured Employer’s Guaranty Fund v. WCAB (Kendrick and Timberline Tree & Landscaping, LLC); 1849 C.D. 2014; filed May 9, 2016; by Judge Cohn Jubelirer
After learning the employer did not have workers’ compensation insurance, the claimant filed a notice of claim against the Uninsured Employers Guaranty Fund (Fund), and he later filed a claim petition against the Fund.
The claimant and the Fund stipulated that the claimant was entitled to receive benefits, but an agreement could not be reached as to when benefits would commence. The Fund maintained that benefits were not payable until the date it was provided notice. The claimant argued he was entitled to benefits as of the date of injury.
According to the Commonwealth Court, § 1603(b) of the Act states that no compensation shall be paid from the Uninsured Employers Guaranty Fund (Fund) until notice of an injury is given by the claimant. Citing its 2015 decision in Lozado v. WCAB (Dependable Concrete Work and Uninsured Employers Guaranty Fund), 123 A.3rd 365 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2015), the court concluded that those who do not meet the statutory deadline are only entitled to compensation for medical treatment or lost wages incurred from the date notice was provided. The court also held that the term “compensation” as used in § 1603(b) includes both wage loss and medical benefits. The court pointed out that employees injured while working for uninsured employers do not assume the costs of medical treatment prior to notice being given since medical providers are prohibited from requiring injured employees to pay for work-related treatment by § 306(f.1)(7) of the Act.