In Pennsylvania, you’re entitled to workers’ compensation if you’re an employee and have been injured at work. It doesn’t matter whether you work for a non-profit, large corporation or small business — either way, you’re entitled to workers’ comp.

    What Are the Requirements for Workers’ Compensation Eligibility?

    To be eligible for PA workers’ compensation, you must:

    1. Be an employee and not have sought exemption from workers’ compensation insurance.
    2. Have been injured while performing work duties.
    3. Have an injury that’s resulted in medical treatment or time lost at work. Alternatively, you may be eligible if a family member has sustained a fatal injury in the workplace.
    4. Report your injury to your employer within 120 days of becoming ill or sustaining your injury.
    5. Have sustained an injury that was not self-inflicted or caused by any illegal activity, such as illegal drug use or drinking on the job.

    Under Pennsylvania law, even part-time and seasonal workers must be covered by employer-paid workers’ comp coverage. The only exception concerns employees who are covered in other ways. Longshoremen, federal civilian employees, harbor workers, railroad employees and shipyard workers have other compensation programs and are usually not eligible for workers’ compensation.

    Some executives and some workers with religious objections may seek to be exempt from workers’ compensation coverage. Temp employees may be covered by a temp agency instead of the company where they’re sent. Agricultural workers, volunteers, domestic workers and casual employees may also be exempt.

    Even if your employer violated the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act and did not purchase coverage for you, you may be able to secure benefits through the Uninsured Employers Guaranty Fund.

    Am I a Contractor?

    Consultants, contractors, self-employed individuals and volunteers are typically not covered by workers’ comp. If your employee agreement lists you as a consultant or contractor but your employer treats you as an employee, you may still qualify for workers’ compensation. If your employer controls your working conditions, withholds taxes and treats you like a worker, you may be misclassified, and you may be eligible for workers’ comp even if you are “officially” listed as a non-employee.

    How Long Do You Have to Work for a Company to Be Eligible for Workers’ Comp?

    There are generally not any limits to how long you must work to be eligible. You should be covered from your date of hire. If you’re injured, your medical benefits should start on the day of the injury.

    Do You Have Additional Questions About Workers’ Compensation in Pennsylvania?

    If you have questions about eligibility or are having trouble getting your rightful benefits, always contact Frommer D’Amico online or call us at 717-400-1000 for a free case evaluation. Frommer D’Amico specializes in workers’ comp cases, and we always represent workers, never employers. We offer low fees and free case management to help you get back on track after a work injury.

    We can help whether your benefits are late or your employer and their insurance company are trying to modify your benefits. Our team supports workers who are applying for the first time and those who have been denied benefits. No matter what stage of your claim you’re in, you can contact us.


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