pennsylvania 40430 640

Form Focus: Pa. Rules for Appealing Workers’ Compensation Judge’s Decision to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board

19 May, 2023 Frank Ferreri

pennsylvania 40430 640

Harrisburg, PA ( -- Regular readers of our Daily Headlines have surely noticed that something that often happens in a workers' compensation case is that a claimant will appeal the workers' compensation judge's decision to the next level.

In Pennsylvania, that next level is the Workers' Compensation Appeal Board, and what follows are the form and rules that govern the Keystone State's appeals.

The Form

Pennsylvania uses this form for claimants seeking an appeal.

The Rules

Deadline to appealPennsylvania workers' compensation law provides a period of 20 days from the circulation date of the decision by the WCJ to appeal that decision to the WCAB.
This 20-day period is computed from but does not include the circulation date set forth on the WCJ's decision.
What's considered "on time"An appeal will be considered filed on time if it is mailed and postmarked to the WCAB, or filed online via the Workers' Compensation Automation and Integration System, known as WCAIS, no later than the 20th day after circulation of the WCJ's decision.
For example, if a WCJ's decision is circulated on May 1, the appeal must be mailed and posted marked to the WCAB, or filed via WCAIS, by May 21.
Cross appealsAny other party may file a cross-appeal within 14 days of when this appeal was filed.
What must be in the appealThe party filing the appeal, who is know as the petitioner, must set forth specifically and fully the errors in the WCJ's decision.
Oral argumentAll appeals will be schedule for oral argument, via either an in-person or virtual option, unless all parties to the appeal indicate that no oral argument is requested or that it is waived.

Workers' Comp 101: In Payne v. Americold Logistics LLC, 279 A.3d 641 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2022), the claimant's appeal was not filed within the 20-day filing period for appeals because the claimant mailed the appeal to the WCJ instead of the WCAB. In the case, the WCJ's decision circulated on Aug. 24, 2020. The claimant submitted his appeal via the U.S. Postal Service in an envelope postmarked on Sept. 14, 2020. The WCJ's office forwarded the mail to the WCAB, which received the envelope on Oct. 19, 2020, well beyond the 20-day limit. “Because Claimant improperly mailed his appeal to the [WCJ], instead of the Board, the Board did not receive Claimant's appeal until [October 19, 2020], making his appeal [over one month] late," the court explained.

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    About The Author

    • Frank Ferreri

      Frank Ferreri, M.A., J.D. covers workers' compensation legal issues. He has published books, articles, and other material on multiple areas of employment, insurance, and disability law. Frank received his master's degree from the University of South Florida and juris doctor from the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

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