PRINTER'S NO. 1667
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
1232
Session of
2024
INTRODUCED BY PENNYCUICK, FARRY, BROWN, KANE, COSTA, SCHWANK,
LANGERHOLC, MUTH AND SANTARSIERO, MAY 31, 2024
REFERRED TO LABOR AND INDUSTRY, MAY 31, 2024
AN ACT
Amending the act of June 2, 1915 (P.L.736, No.338), entitled "An
act defining the liability of an employer to pay damages for
injuries received by an employe in the course of employment;
establishing an elective schedule of compensation; providing
procedure for the determination of liability and compensation
thereunder; and prescribing penalties," in liability and
compensation, further providing for payment of compensation.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 308 of the act of June 2, 1915 (P.L.736,
No.338), known as the Workers' Compensation Act, is amended to
read:
Section 308. (a) Except as hereinafter provided, all
compensation payable under this article shall be payable in
periodical installments, as the wages of the employe were
payable before the injury.
(b) At the request of an employe, person entitled to
compensation under section 307, employer or insurer,
compensation under this article shall be paid by direct deposit
to the account of the person entitled to the compensation. The
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employe or person entitled to compensation may request payment
be made to a payroll card account in lieu of direct deposit. The
payroll card account shall be provided at no cost to the employe
or person entitled to compensation. The following shall apply:
(1) Installments of compensation payable under this article
paid by direct deposit shall be subject to the following:
(i) After the effective date of this subparagraph, an
insurer or self-insured employer may permit or require payment
of compensation by direct deposit. If the insurer or self-
insured employer permits payment by direct deposit, the option
shall be available to all persons entitled to compensation from
the insurer or self-insured employer.
(ii) No later than one year after the effective date of this
subparagraph, all insurers and self-insured employers shall
permit payment of compensation by direct deposit.
(2) The insurer or self-insured employer shall notify the
persons entitled to compensation of the option or requirement to
receive compensation by direct deposit. Notification shall be
sent by first class mail or electronic mail and include a
payment authorization form. Notification shall be sent in
accordance with the following:
(i) Immediately upon the availability or requirement of
direct deposit by the insurer or self-insured employer.
(ii) Concurrently with a notice of compensation payable.
(iii) Simultaneous to the first check that is mailed out
immediately following the notification sent under subparagraph
(i).
(3) A person entitled to compensation, or the person's legal
guardian, who requests or is required by the employer or insurer
to receive compensation by direct deposit shall submit an
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accurate and valid payment authorization form to the insurer or
self-insured employer. The following shall apply:
(i) The payment authorization form may be submitted
electronically if the insurer or self-insured employer has
agreed to accept the form electronically.
(ii) The insurer or self-insured employer shall not be
required to pay compensation by direct deposit unless the person
entitled to compensation, or the person's legal guardian, has
submitted a valid payment authorization form.
(iii) If the insurer or self-insured employer requires
payment by direct deposit and the employe or person entitled to
compensation does not submit a valid payment authorization form
within thirty days of receiving notification of the requirement,
the insurer or self-insured employer may, at the discretion of
the insurer or self-insured employer:
(A) issue a payroll card to the employe or person entitled
to compensation and pay compensation to the payroll card; or
(B) temporarily pay compensation by check.
(4) A person entitled to compensation, or the person's legal
guardian, shall have the right to choose the deposit account to
which payment of compensation is made and may request to change
the deposit account designated to receive compensation or
discontinue direct deposit by submitting a revised payment
authorization form to the insurer or self-insured employer. The
deposit account shall be subject to the following requirements:
(i) The person entitled to compensation, or the person's
legal guardian, shall have control and signatory access to the
chosen deposit account.
(ii) The deposit account shall be with a bank as defined
under 12 U.S.C. § 1813(a)(1) (relating to definitions) on the
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effective date of this subparagraph or a credit union.
(iii) A deposit account may be changed no more than two
times in any calendar year, unless otherwise ordered by a
workers' compensation judge or a court of competent
jurisdiction.
(5) For an employe or a person entitled to compensation
under section 307, payments of compensation may not be split
between multiple payment methods, and payments of compensation
made by direct deposit may not be split between multiple deposit
accounts.
(6) A request to initiate direct deposit, change deposit
accounts or discontinue direct deposit shall be implemented
within forty-five days of receipt, provided that the payment
authorization form is valid.
(7) An insurer or a self-insured employer shall not be
responsible for replacing any money sent to an incorrect account
if the sole reason for the error is incorrect information
provided by the person entitled to receive the money. An insurer
or a self-insured employer shall take reasonable actions to
attempt to recover the money and any money later recovered by
the insurer or self-insured employer shall promptly be credited
to the person entitled to receive the money.
(8) Lump sum settlement payments made as a result of a
compromise and release agreement may be made by check unless the
insurer or self-insured employer agrees to make payment by
direct deposit.
(9) A payment made on a claim with an expected duration of
sixty days or less may be made by check unless:
(i) The insurer or self-insured employer agrees to make
payment by direct deposit.
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(ii) The employe or person entitled to compensation
previously received compensation by direct deposit and verifies
that the direct deposit account previously used is still valid.
(c) The department shall develop and publish a standard
payment authorization form for use by all insurers and self-
insured employers under this section. The form shall include,
but not be limited to, the following information:
(1) The name, telephone number, mailing address and email
address of the person entitled to compensation.
(2) The workers' compensation claim number.
(3) Whether the person entitled to compensation, or the
person's legal guardian, is requesting to initiate direct
deposit, change deposit accounts, discontinue direct deposit or
elects payment by payroll card account in lieu of direct
deposit.
(4) The name and address of the financial institution and
the account and routing numbers to which compensation shall be
sent.
(5) Acknowledgment that failure to notify the insurer or
self-insured employer of any change in financial institution or
account may delay receipt of compensation or settlement
proceeds.
(6) Acknowledgment that the person entitled to compensation,
or the person's legal guardian, shall notify the insurer or
self-insured employer of changes in circumstance that affect
entitlement to compensation payable under this article.
(d) As used in this section:
"Credit union" shall mean any of the following:
(1) A cooperative corporation incorporated under any of the
following:
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(i) The former act of May 26, 1933 (P.L.1076, No.260),
referred to as the Credit Union Act.
(ii) The former act of September 20, 1961 (P.L.1548,
No.658), known as the "Credit Union Act."
(iii) The act of December 19, 1990 (P.L.834, No.198), known
as the "GAA Amendments Act of 1990."
(2) A credit union organized in accordance with the
provisions of 12 U.S.C. Ch. 14 (relating to Federal credit
unions).
"Direct deposit" shall mean a credit to a deposit account in
a financial institution made by electronic fund transfer.
"Electronic fund transfer" as defined in 15 U.S.C. § 1693a
(relating to definitions).
"Payment authorization form" shall mean the payment
authorization form published under subsection (c).
"Payroll card account" shall mean an account that is directly
or indirectly established through an employer, to which
transfers of the employe's wages, salary, commissions or other
compensation are made.
"Persons entitled to compensation" shall mean an employe
entitled to compensation under this article or a person entitled
to compensation under section 307.
"Valid payment authorization form" shall mean a completed
payment authorization form that contains the information
necessary for an insurer or self-insured employer to initiate
direct deposit, change deposit accounts, discontinue direct
deposit or initiate payment by payroll card account.
Section 2. This act shall apply to installments of
compensation paid on or after the effective date of this
section.
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Section 3. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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