Workers' compensation for the self-insured

Pennsylvania employees may be aware that employers are required by law to provide workers' compensation coverage. Some of these employers may choose to self-insure as long as they meet the requirements under the Workers' Compensation Act. Having the financial ability to cover the payment of all employee benefits is the primary consideration. The employer must also post a bond, letter of credit or similar financial instrument that will back up its claim of financial ability.

The Department of Labor and Industry's Bureau of Workers' Compensation has the responsibility for assessing a company's financial ability to self-insure. Through a detailed analysis of financial statements, the state agency is primarily looking to determine the long-term stability of the company's financial position and its liquidity in order to meet its workers' compensation responsibilities in a timely manner.

Furthermore, in order to compensate the employees for injuries or illness caused by a major catastrophe, the self-insured employer must carry excess workers' compensation insurance. The self-insurer is also responsible for the administration of the in-house workers' compensation program and must provide resources for the processing of claims. The self-insured employer must also have programs in place to help minimize workplace accidents and illnesses.

Whether a worker's employer is self-insured or carries coverage through a traditional insurance company, an injured or ill person who has a potential claim may want to consider obtaining input from an attorney in order to ensure that all steps are taken to receive in a timely manner the maximum benefits allowable. The attorney can guide a worker through the process that can guard against a workplace accident or illness being detrimental to the client's financial security.

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