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Premier Workers' Compensation and Personal Injury Law Firm
If you are seeking benefits under Act 632/534, you will need an attorney that has years of experience handling these claims. The process of pursuing benefits under Act 632/534 is very complex and can vary throughout the state of Pennsylvania. In order to assure that you receive the medical care and benefits you are entitled to, you need an experienced Act 632/534 attorney that is familiar with the interplay between Workers' Compensation benefits, social security benefits, the Heart and Lung Act, and your Collective Bargaining Agreement with regard to Act 632/534 benefits. I have handled these claims for almost two decades and have represented PSCOA and AFSCME members as well as management employees for all 28 State Correctional Institutions as well as Forensic Security Aides, Department of Public Welfare (“DPW”) employees, State Mental Hospital employees and employees of County Boards of Assitance. With my experience, I can help you overcome any issues that you may encounter while going through this process. I have recovered millions of dollars in benefits for eligible employees under Act 632/534.
Who is covered by Act 632/534?
Act 632/534 applies to broad classes of Pennsylvania employees, specifically including any employee of a:
• Any employee of a State Penal or Correctional Institution under Bureau of Correction of the Department of Justice;
• Any employee of a State Mental Hospital or Youth Development Center under the Department of Public Welfare;
• Any employee of County Boards of Assistance;
• Any employee of the Department of Public Welfare who has been asigned to or who has volunteered to join the fire fighting force of any institution of the Department of Public Welfare.
Those enumerated employees are eligible to receive benefits under Act 632/534 when injured by the act of an inmate or any person confined in such institution or by any person who has been committed to such institution by any court of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or by any provision of the "Mental Health Act" (State Penal/Correctional/State Mental Hosptial/Youth Development Cetner) or by the act of an applicant for recipient of public assitance (Employee of County Boards of Assistance) or carrying out fire fighting duties (DPW Fire fighting force). In order to receive those benefits, the burden of proof is initially on the covered employee to prove that his or her work-related injury was caused by the required "act".
The purpose of Act 632/534 is to provide a full salary, not compensation, to employees in certain dangerous occupations who have been injured on the job as set forth above. Replacement (at your full salary (as of date of injury), but without overtime), medical expenses, and accrual of retirement credits, as well as vacation and sick time is also provided. However, unlike Heart and Lung Act benefits, you are not entitled to pay raises, rather your salary is locked as of the date of your injury. Although your salary is locked as of the day of your injury, the benefits are not temporary in nature. If eligible, an employee can receive these benefits until vested and you reach retirement age.
This Act is not a replacement for Heart and Lung Act benefits or Workers' Compensation which is why it is important to make sure these claims are handled concurrently with one another. If an employee qualifies for Act 632/534 benefits, he or she should first be placed on Heart and Lung Act benefits until it is determined that the injury is "permanent" rather than "temporary". Then and only then should the employee be placed on Act 632/534 benefits.
Because these claims could be complex, it is important you contact the Figured Law Firm as soon as possible following an injury so you don't jeopardize any benefits that you may be entitled to under this Act. You have to understand that you are going to be dealing with a claims adjuster or some other individual who is well versed in the process. They will do everything and anything to limit their liability. That is why you need someone that is more experienced than they are, so you aren't bullied or misconceived into making a decision that can cost you your job or benefits. I represent all eligible employees at every stage of the process and hearings. If necessary, we can pursue your claim all the way from appeals hearing to the Commonwealth Court and up to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
If your injury prevents you from being able to return to your position, it is important that you take the proper steps to protect yourself. This will help you recover the most you can from the benefits available to you so you can provide for you and your family. I will assist with negotiating a settlement or buyout, application for Social Security Disability benefits and disability pensions for eligible employees.
When you retain me to fight for you, you will understand that you have an experienced attorney that will aggressively pursue your rights and be assured you get what you deserve. It is also important to remember that you will never pay a fee unless your case is won.
To schedule a FREE consultation or appointment, call Figured Law Firm at 570-954-9299.
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