Disfigurement and the Workers Compensation Act

A client came to see me not long ago with scarring on her hand from a work injury. Mercifully, she was back to work and without discomfort but she was left with some unsightly scarring on her hand. She asked if the law provides compensation for the disfigurement.

In Pennsylvania only disfigurement of the head, neck, or face is compensable under the Workers Compensation Act. Further, the disfigurement must be permanent, unsightly and not usually incident to the employment. So, any disfigurement below clavicle IS NOT compensable under the Workers Compensation Act.

If compensable, a financial benefit is provided for such disfigurement for a period not exceeding 275 weeks of compensation. This is typically done by agreement, or by order of a judge.

These types of cases often involve surgical scars. Surgical scars on the head or neck are compensable if they are permanent and unsightly. The insurance carrier will not volunteer this information and most injured workers are unaware that compensation may be available. It is a significant benefit but it is often overlooked by unrepresented injured workers.

Know your rights. If you are injured at work contact me for a free consultation.