Once an injured worker proves an entitlement to workers’ compensation benefits in PA, only certain things allow a Pennsylvania workers’ comp insurance company to stop paying those benefits. Some of the more common things would be convincing a Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) that the injured worker has fully recovered, has returned to working at pre-injury wages, or has left the labor market for reasons unrelated to the work injury. Another basis for the stoppage of workers’ compensation benefits in PA is incarceration.
Under Section 306(a.1) of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act (Act), “Nothing in this act shall require payment of compensation under clause (a) or (b) for any period during which the employe is incarcerated after a conviction . . . “ While this sounds simple, as with many things, there can be disagreements on the application.
Recently, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania issued a decision in the case of Sadler v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Philadelphia Coca-Cola). Here, the injured worker was receiving PA workers’ compensation benefits. He was charged with a crime, and could not afford bail. As such, he was incarcerated. This, of course, would not allow a stoppage of workers’ comp benefits, since the incarceration did not come “after a conviction.”