Under Section 306(c)(22) of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, a claimant may receive compensation for “serious permanent disfigurement of the head, neck or face.” This language allows a claimant to receive an award for scars that form due to a work-related injury. Generally, a workers’ compensation judge will make an award that can range anywhere from zero to 275 weeks of benefits. A judge may evaluate a scar after six months to establish permanency of the disfigurement. The scar must be located on the head, face, or neck.
Most times, a scar forms after an injury, however, a claimant may also sustain a scar from treatment for the work injury, such as a cervical fusion, for example. When determining the amount of compensation for a scar, a judge will make note of how disfiguring it is when justifying an award. For example, in City of Pittsburgh v. WCAB (McFarren), 950 A.2d 358 (Pa.Cmwlth.Ct. 2008), the judge described the claimant’s scar as follows: “Claimant has a scar on the left side of his neck. The scar is in the creased area of his neck. It is approximately one and one-half (1½”) inches in length. The last one-half (½”) inch of the scar is not noticeable as it is in the claimant’s natural crease of his neck. The scar is slightly indented. The first one-inch (1”) of the scar is slightly lighter than the rest of the skin on claimant’s neck.” Based upon this description, the judge awarded the claimant six weeks of compensation for disfigurement.
Most claimants do not realize that they are entitled to benefits for disfigurement, apart from wage loss and medical bills. Metzger Wickersham recommends that you contact an attorney for a consultation if you believe you have a claim for a scar.
Our legal team is available to discuss your case, we can answer your questions about scars that form due to a work-related injury during a no-cost case evaluation.
To schedule a free consultation with our attorneys, complete our contact form or call (888) 286-2850.