As we have previously discussed, within the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, there lies a trap for unwary injured workers. Actually, there are many traps in the Act, but for today, we’ll just deal with this one.
When a workers’ comp insurance carrier thinks (and this is a critical word) that an injured worker has returned to work, the insurance company can file a Notification of Modification (if there remains a partial wage loss) or a Modification of Suspension (wages are believed to be at or higher than the pre-injury wages). If there is no “challenge” filed by the injured worker, within the allotted time period, the Notification of Modification or Suspension has the same legal effect as if the injured worker has agreed to the change in status. This is certainly a trap for an injured worker who knows better than to sign a document without legal counsel, but is unaware that not signing a document can also have dire consequences.