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Christian Petrucci of the Law Offices of Christian Petrucci. Christian Petrucci of the Law Offices of Christian Petrucci.

With all the world focusing on the COViD-19 pandemic, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court recently decided the matter of Communication Test Design v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Simpson), 196 C.D. 2019 (April 20), which probably went unnoticed by most, but which represents a troubling development in defining the circumstances under which a notice of temporary compensation payable (NTCP) converts to an NCP. When an NTCP is filed, it often means the injured worker will receive 89 days of workers’ compensation benefits along with a subsequent denial for any number of reasonsmostly manufactured. Tragically, the NTCP is filed almost exclusively these days, thwarting the original intent of the amendments to the Workers’ Compensation Act, which created the vehicle that was to enable a claimant to get paid, at least temporarily, for a truly questionable claim. Now, almost invariably, claims with no apparent defense are subject to the NTCP to enable the claims adjuster to have undue control over a situation for no legitimate reason other than risk management.

It is against this backdrop that the importance of the conversion of the NTCP has grown. While often referenced, it bears reading Section 406.1 of the act, which deals with the circumstances under which an NTCP converts. The section provides in pertinent part:

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Kristie Rearick

Kristie Rearick is the magazines and publications editor at The Legal Intelligencer. She handles contributed content for the newspaper. Contact her [email protected]

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