Navigating Supersedeas Hearing, PA Workers Compensation Case

If you are an injured worker in Pennsylvania who has been receiving workers' compensation benefits, you may have heard the term "supersedeas" thrown around. But what exactly is a supersedeas hearing, and why is it so important? In this guide, we'll take you through everything you need to know about supersedeas hearings in PA workers' compensation cases.

What Is A Supersedeas Hearing?

Simply put, a supersedeas hearing is a legal proceeding that allows either party in a lawsuit to ask for temporary relief from an order entered by the Workers' Compensation Judge (WCJ). Specifically, when an injured employee files for workers’ compensation benefits due to an injury sustained at work or while on duty which results in disability that requires medical treatment or causes absence from work beyond seven days. Shortly after filing their claim, if the request is found to be compensable by law they usually begin receiving ongoing cash wage loss benefits until when/if their medical condition improves sufficiently enough to enable them resume work.

However, if your employer/insurer does not agree with WCJ’s decision ordering wage loss payment, your checks might stop. That's where the concept of "supersedeas" comes into play. Essentially, if either party wants to challenge WCJ’s decision (even before an appeal is concluded) in Pennsylvania, they can ask for a stay of the order pending appeal on showing good cause. This is what a supersedeas hearing is all about.

Why Are Supersedeas Hearings Important?

Supersedeas hearings are important because they decide whether or not you will continue to receive your workers' compensation benefits while your case is being appealed. If the supersedeas request is granted, it could mean that your cash wage loss benefit checks will stop until the outcome of the case has been reviewed again.

This can obviously be very stressful and difficult for injured workers who may be relying on those benefits to support themselves and their families while they are unable to work due to their injuries.

On the other hand, if the supersedeas request  is denied, your cash wage loss benefit checks will continue to be issued while an appeal of the order granting benefits or increasing/modifying benefits for a injury in question filed by employer/insurer /insurance company proceeds through its course.

Who Can File For Supersedeas Hearing?

Both parties are eligible - meaning either an injured worker or their employer/insurer can file a motion requesting a supersedeas hearing following an order to pay wage loss compensation made by WCJ in a litigated workers’ compensation claim dispute.A different kind of supersedeas request may also seek suspension of medical treatment being authorized and/or paid for by insurance carriers against which litigation has been brought disputing certain aspects of the medical treatment being designed as reasonable and necessary payable by such insurance carrier.

However, there must be some issue still under litigation when filing supercedeas motion requesting implantation of WCJ’s decision pending resolution of litigation through concurrent appeals process. That means if no final determination regarding any part or aspect of the claim petitions previously brought have not yet been decided or beyond 20 days after entry of judgment confirming award with respect thereof has elapsed thus triggering judgemnt interest, you may file for a supersedeas hearing. A different kind of supersedeas request may also seek suspension of medical treatment being authorized and/or paid for by insurance carriers against which litigation has been brought disputing certain aspects of the medical treatment being designed as reasonable and necessary payable by such insurance carrier.

What Happens During A Supersedeas Hearing?

During a supersedeas hearing, both parties will have the opportunity to present evidence to the judge regarding whether or not wage loss payments should be temporarily stayed while litigation is still ongoing. It's important to note that this is an expedited hearing and there is a shorter timeline involved compared to regular hearings in workers’ compensation cases.

The judge presiding over the supersedeas hearing will review testimony on issues that are subjects of litigation, and exhibits submitted into evidence at this “summary” hearing to determine whether good cause has indeed been shown warranting granting or denying the requestor’s pending appeal until it concludes anytime within 6months from filing of any necessary briefs/memoranda thereafter after either party generated by such appeal before Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (‘WCAB’).

Furthermore, an employer could contend over medically certified treatment procedures or expenses like medical items/injections/surgical procedures, declaring it too costly providing reliable information citing other businesses providing alternative cost-effective options without hindering employee care protocol. Legal defense counsel accounts for employee’s occupational records as well, and offer summaries detailing the kind of work environment, duties/responsibilities performed by employees that ultimately caused them to become hurt/physically impaired.

It goes without saying that obtaining a lawyer specialises specifically in Workers’ Compensation Law renders better chances for those appealing at court hearings. If denied/unsatisfied with the final verdict from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Judges- federal judges may reach out to follow-up hearings, pointing out errors in proceedings made earlier.

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