About The Pennsylvania Heart And Lung Act
The Heart and Lung Act provides several different types of injured public employees with full paid salary while they're away from work. These payments are also tax-free. Workers who qualify for these benefits include:
- Law enforcement officers
- Corrections officers
- Psychiatric aides working for the Department of Corrections or Public Welfare
- Park guards
- Liquor Control Board officers and investigators
- Probation and parole officers
- Special agents working with the Office of the Attorney General
Workers' Comp provides compensation for lost wages, but only for about 2/3 of your total earnings. This Act helps bridge the gap so that you receive 100% of your salary, tax-free.
In order to qualify, you must have been injured while engaged in official duties. So, if you were assaulted while working as a police officer and were seriously injured, you would receive these benefits. But if you slipped on ice in the parking lot on the way to your car at the end of a shift, you may only qualify for Workers' Compensation.
This Act only provides compensation for temporary injuries. Those who are permanently disabled should look into benefits from Workers' Comp and Social Security Disability.
Benefits Under Pennsylvania Act 534/632
Pennsylvania Act 534/632 also provides 100% of the original salary for certain public employees. This law specifically applies to those who work with inmates or psychiatric patients in state facilities. Volunteer firefighters injured on duty are also covered by Act 534/632.
This act is nearly identical to the Heart and Lung Act, as you must have been injured during official duties and your injury must be temporary in order to receive these benefits.
Do Injured Public Employees Need Lawyers?
While you are free to go through the claims or appeals process on your own, an attorney with experience representing public workers will help you earn compensation quickly and without complications.
Certain public employees may hesitate to file a claim for Workers' Compensation for fear of repercussions from their employer. Police officers and firefighters may rationalize that injuries come with the dangerous territories of their chosen professions. But regardless of your working conditions, you deserve time and money to recover from a serious injury. It's better to wait until you're back feeling 100% before you return to work so that you can provide the best public service possible.
If your injury was caused by someone other than an employer or co-worker, you may have a good case for a personal injury lawsuit. For example, if you were working as an EMT and a negligent driver caused an accident with your ambulance, you could recover additional compensation for pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and other damages.
Our veteran work injury attorneys specialize in securing maximum compensation for injured workers so that they can get back to their normal way of life as soon as possible. If you want to find out more about how to get through the Workers' Comp process quickly and painlessly, we'd love to discuss your case in a free consultation.