In some cases, workers’ compensation benefits allow workers to take time away from work to heal after a workplace accident. Sometimes, though, workplace accidents or work-related conditions have a permanent impact on your ability to use one or more parts of your body. How does Pennsylvania address these “specific losses”?

What is specific loss?

“Specific loss” in Pennsylvania can refer to the amputation of a body part, but it can also involve any condition that leaves you permanently unable to use a specific body part. This may involve damage to an organ, disfigurement, paralysis due to nerve damage, hearing loss or deafness resulting from noise in your work area and a variety of other conditions.

In general, all of these conditions involve the loss of use of a specific body part as a result of workplace conditions. This is true even if that injury or condition did not cause a person to miss work.

What are specific loss benefits?

The state of Pennsylvania outlines specific loss awards based on the body part impacted by your injury or condition. Depending on the part of the body involved in your specific loss, you may receive benefits of two-thirds of your pre-injury wage for up to 275 weeks. State law also outlines healing periods that may apply after an injury.

While the loss of use of a body part can change your life, specific loss benefits can offset the impact of a workplace injury or work-related medical condition on your future income and wellbeing.