On May 2, 2023, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives approved House Bill No. 760, which aims to contemporize the methods by which qualifying individuals receive workers’ compensation. Upon passage in the state Senate, HB 760 will amend the Workers’ Compensation Act by implementing a direct deposit system.
KingSpry’s Attorney Taisha K. Tolliver-Duran outlines what you need to know, should HB 760 become law.
Workers’ compensation is a system central to aiding Pennsylvanians who have been injured on the job, as it provides qualifying individuals a steady income until they are able to return to work. Pennsylvania currently relies on the mailing of physical checks to deliver workers’ compensation benefits, which subjects individuals’ income to misplacement and/or delay.
In his proposal, Representative Nick Pisciottano contends that the opportunity to modernize this system with the implementation of direct deposit is approachable and attainable. Further, Pisciottano asserts that this system will deliver benefits in a more efficient manner.
Should HB 760 become law, the Workers’ Compensation Act will be amended to provide individuals who qualify for and receive workers’ compensation the option to choose the method by which their checks are delivered. The intent is not to revise the system as a whole, rather, it is to increase the type of payment methods offered.
What is the Impact?
HB 760 will specifically amend Section 308 of the Workers’ Compensation Act to allow compensation “to be payable in periodical installments, as the wages of the employee were payable before the injury.”
Should HB 760 pass, installments of compensation payable under the Workers’ Compensation Act must be paid to the person entitled to compensation by direct deposit, subject to the following:
- Direct deposit must be available if the insurer or self-insured employer permits payment of other compensation by direct deposit;
- The insurer or self-insured employer must notify the persons entitled to compensation of the option to receive compensation via direct deposit;
- The recipient of compensation who requests to receive their benefits via direct deposit must submit an authorization form to the insurer or self-insured employer;
- The recipient of compensation must have the ability to choose the deposit account to which the payments are made, and they may request to change the deposit account if necessary; and
- The payments of compensation may not be split between multiple payments nor multiple deposit accounts.
Though HB 760 will amend the Workers’ Compensation Act, employers and insurers can anticipate positive advancement. Just as recipients will benefit from modernized delivery of their compensation, employers and insurers will save both time and expenses incurred from the mailing of physical checks.
What Does the Future Hold?
HB 760 passed in the House, 114-86, and implementation of this change was recommended unanimously by the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC) in 2022. Due to significant margins of support, it is likely HB 760 will receive approval by the state Senate and become law.
In anticipation of its passing, employers and insurers should review their procedures pertaining to the delivery of workers’ compensation to ensure they comply with HB 760.
If you have questions regarding Workers’ Compensation and/or the potential impact of House Bill No. 760, an attorney at KingSpry is prepared to assist you.
 House Bill No. 760, Section 1.