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Workers' Compensation

Pennsylvania: Person Held in Jail Awaiting Trial is not Incarcerated for Purposes of Disqualification

While Pennsylvania law authorizes termination of workers' compensation indemnity benefits during periods of incarceration after conviction [see Section 306(a.1) of the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act, 77 P.S. § 511.1], that provision cannot be used to allow an employer a credit or offset for weekly benefits paid to an injured employee who spent 525 in jail before trial because he could not make bail, held the state's Court of Pennsylvania. After being held in jail for the 525-day period, the employee pled guilty and was sentenced to 525 days of incarceration. He was given credit for time served and immediately released. The employer sought to offset any future benefits by the amounts the employee received while in jail. The Supreme Court affirmed a decision of the Commonwealth Court. The statute specifically and clearly authorized termination of benefit payments only during periods of incarceration served after conviction. The statute did not refer at all to termination of benefit payments during periods of incarceration served prior to conviction.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the co-Editor-in-Chief and Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law(LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Sadler v. Workers’ Comp. Appeal Bd., 2021 Pa. LEXIS 327 (Jan. 27, 2020)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 84.04.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see

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