Acknowledged PA Work Injury – Claim Still Denied

Before recent changes in PA Workers’ Compensation law, an insurance carrier could “accept” a claim using a Notice of Denial (NCD). This left the status of the work injury in doubt, so, in 2011, the PA Bureau of Workers’ Compensation redesigned the NCD form to no longer allow such an action.

With the previous NCD, we had seen a Claim Petition denied, despite an acknowledged work injury. As attorneys who represent injured workers, we found this result illogical, and just plain wrong.

As if in a confirmation that an illogical result was intended, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania decided the case of Zuchelli v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Indiana University of Pennsylvania), again denying a Claim Petition because disability was not proven (the NCD used to “accept” the claim was done before 2011).

We hope that the change in the NCD form will remove this issue forever, and save the Courts from their own tendencies. In the meantime, we would urge the Courts to understand the difference (and there is one) between denying a Claim Petition and finding disability was not proven. It is shocking, in this day and age, that the Courts could be so blind to the value and importance of an injured worker having access to medical treatment (regardless of whether disability took place or not).

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