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Angela Lorenz, Griesing Law (Photo: Courtesy Photo) Angela Lorenz, Griesing Law (Photo: Courtesy Photo)

As we approach the 104th anniversary of Act 111, its impact and application continue to be a hotly contested subject in the practice of Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation law. Summer 2020 has been a very busy one for our courts. Between June and August, our courts attempted to provide some guidance on issues like constitutionality, retroactivity and look-back credits for employers.

As workers’ compensation practitioners are acutely aware, our Supreme Court found Section 306(a.2), the predecessor to Section 306(a.3), unconstitutional under article II, Section 1 in Protz v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Derry Area School District), 639 Pa. 645, 161 A.3d 827 (2017) (Protz II). In response, the Pennsylvania legislature passed Act 111 to reinstate the use of Impairment Ratings. Section 306(a.3) changed the IRE process from the pre-Protz II process in two ways: it reduced the threshold impairment rating from 50% to 35%; and IRE determinations were to be made pursuant to the 6th edition of the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, (second printing April 2009) rather than pursuant to the most recent edition of the AMA Guides.

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