The Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act permits an employer (or their insurance company) to accept an injured worker’s claim on a temporary basis, while they conduct an investigation. Within 90 days of issuing a Notice of Temporary Compensation Payable (NTCP), the insurance company must formally accept or deny responsibility to pay further benefits by:
- Issuing a Notice of Compensation Payable (NCP) if they agree to pay ongoing benefits, or
- A Notice Stopping Temporary Compensation (NSTC) AND a Notice of Compensation Denial (NCD) if they choose to deny the claim.
These “denial” documents MUST be issued within 5 days of the last payment of benefits. Section 406.1; 77 PS Section 717.1.
If the employer fails to issue the appropriate documents to the claimant AND properly file a copy with the Bureau of Workers Compensation, the claim will be deemed to be accepted, and the Bureau will issue a Notice of Conversion – converting the Temporary Notice into a “regular” Notice of Compensation Payable. The Court has issued several Decisions strictly applying the terms of the Act, stating that the insurance company’s failure to issue the proper documents – and to do so timely – is a violation of the law, and may result in penalties being awarded to the claimant, as well as attorney fees. Hurst v. WCAB (Preston Trucking Co.), 823 A.2d 1052 (Pa Cmwlth. 2003); Lemansky v. WCAB (Hagan Ice Cream Co.), 738 A.2d 498 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1999); Waldameer Park v. WCAB (Morrison), 819 A.2d 164 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2003).