The PA Heart and Lung Act is also known as Enforcement Officer Disability Benefit Law and as the name implies it offers compensation in terms of salary, medical bills, and wage to local and state government employees who are injured during the performance of their duties. The act protects federal and local employees including police officers, firefighters, enforcement officers, investigators employed by the PA liquor control board, and psychiatric security aides, etc.
The purpose of the Heart and Lung Act is to provide important public safety personnel with full compensation while disabled from an injury which happens in the performance of duty; and grants compensation where the disability is temporary. In workers’ compensation, compensastion can be for permanent injuries too.
In case you are wondering what, it means to be covered by the PA Heart and Lung Act, here is some important info about Pennsylvania’s Act 534 and the Pennsylvania Heart and Lung Act:
What Do You Get If You Are Eligible For Pennsylvania Act 534 and Heart and Lung Benefits?
An employee eligible for Pennsylvania Act 534 or Heart and Lung Benefits is entitled to full, base salary. The employer pays the salary. Work comp benefits that may be payable are either paid directly to the employer by the insurer or must be turned over by the injured worker to the employer (i.e., State).
What are the Requirements of PA Act 534 Eligibility?
You may have a Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation claim but not an Act 534 or Heart & Lung Act claim as an injured worker in PA. For a Heart and Lung claim to be available, the injury must occur during the performance of one’s duties. Under Act 534, the injury must be due to “an act of any inmate or any person confined in such institution.”
How Do You Know If You Are Covered Under The PA Heart and Lung Act?
You have the right to a DUE PROCESS hearing. If you are covered under the Pennsylvania Heart and Lung Act or Act 534, you are entitled to a due process hearing if your benefits are denied or prior to any termination of benefits. The Pennsylvania Work Comp forum is very fair and organized. However, it’s our experience that the Act 534 and Heart & Lung hearings are not always as fair, and favor the employer.
What Benefits Are Available Under The Pennsylvania Heart and Lung Act?
Although the Heart and Lung Act awards full compensation and continuation of employee benefits to certain employees, and is therefore more generous than the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act in that regard, its scope is narrower and its language should be strictly construed.
For police officers, firefighters and other specifically enumerated people, the relevant law is 53 P.S. 637.
For county jail employees in Pennsylvania, the relevant law is 16 P.S. 4531
For state mental hospital workers in Pennsylvania, the section is 61 P.S. 951-952.
Act 534 benefits aka “Act 534/632” applies to an employee of a state penal or correctional institution under the Bureau of Corrections of the Department of Justice and any employee of a state mental hospital or Youth Development Center under the Department of Public Welfare, who is injured by the act of an inmate or person who has been committed to the institution, or an employee of the Department of Public Welfare who volunteers for the firefighting force and is injured while carrying out firefighting duties, etc.
Is There A Notice Requirement with The PA Act 534 or Pennsylvania Heart and Lung Act?
Unlike Pennsylvania Work Comp cases, there is no notice requirement (i.e., a time limit imposed for informing your employer about what happened) nor a statute of limitation (a time limit for when you must file a claim) for a claim under Heart and Lung and Act 534. In Pennsylvania Work Comp cases, an injured worker has three years to file a claim or he/she is forever barred. And, under the PA Work Comp Act, if an injured worker doesn’t give notice within 120 days of the injury, or when they first believed their condition may be work-related, then the claim is barred forever.
Our Attorneys Can Help with Pennsylvania Heart and Lung (Act 534)
At Cardamone Law, LLC, our attorneys have handled many Heart and Lung and Act 534 cases for our clients. Most of our clients will also be on Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation. Remember, under the Heart & Lung Act, an employer can try to terminate your benefits by showing it’s a permanent injury. There is no such mechanism under the Pennsylvania Act 534.
For more information about the Heart and Lung Act in Pennsylvania or Act 534, call or email experienced Pennsylvania attorney Michael W. Cardamone of Cardamone Law, LLC at 215-206-9068 or michael@Cardamonelaw.com for a free and prompt analysis of your case. Attorney Cardamone has handled many Act 534 and Heart and Lung cases and knows how to maximize them and coordinate them with the Work Comp cases. Contact us for the best Act 534 Lawyer and Heart and Lung Act Lawyer!