(1) For disability partial in character caused by the compensable injury or disease (except the particular cases mentioned in clause (c)) 1 sixty-six and two-thirds per centum of the difference between the wages of the injured employe, as defined in section 309, 2 and the earning power of the employe thereafter; but such compensation shall not be more than the maximum compensation payable. This compensation shall be paid during the period of such partial disability except as provided in clause (e) 3 of this section, but for not more than five hundred weeks. Should total disability be followed by partial disability, the period of five hundred weeks shall not be reduced by the number of weeks during which compensation was paid for total disability. The term “earning power,” as used in this section, shall in no case be less than the weekly amount which the employe receives after the injury; and in no instance shall an employe receiving compensation under this section receive more in compensation and wages combined than the current wages of a fellow employe in employment similar to that in which the injured employe was engaged at the time of the injury.
(2) “Earning power” shall be determined by the work the employe is capable of performing and shall be based upon expert opinion evidence which includes job listings with agencies of the department, private job placement agencies and advertisements in the usual employment area. Disability partial in character shall apply if the employe is able to perform his previous work or can, considering the employe's residual productive skill, education, age and work experience, engage in any other kind of substantial gainful employment which exists in the usual employment area in which the employe lives within this Commonwealth. If the employe does not live in this Commonwealth, then the usual employment area where the injury occurred shall apply. If the employer has a specific job vacancy the employe is capable of performing, the employer shall offer such job to the employe. In order to accurately assess the earning power of the employe, the insurer may require the employe to submit to an interview by a vocational expert who is selected by the insurer and who meets the minimum qualifications established by the department through regulation. The vocational expert shall comply with the Code of Professional Ethics for Rehabilitation Counselors pertaining to the conduct of expert witnesses.
(2.1) If an insurer refers an employe for an earning power assessment and the insurer has a financial interest with the person or in the entity that receives the referral, the insurer shall disclose that financial interest to the employe prior to the referral.
(3) If the insurer receives medical evidence that the claimant is able to return to work in any capacity, then the insurer must provide prompt written notice, on a form prescribed by the department, to the claimant, which states all of the following:
(i) The nature of the employe's physical condition or change of condition.
(ii) That the employe has an obligation to look for available employment.
(iii) That proof of available employment opportunities may jeopardize the employe's right to receipt of ongoing benefits.
(iv) That the employe has the right to consult with an attorney in order to obtain evidence to challenge the insurer's contentions.
FindLaw Codes are provided courtesy of Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the industry-leading online legal research system. For more detailed codes research information, including annotations and citations, please visit Westlaw.
FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.