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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 54 Pa.B. 1032 (February 24, 2024).

34 Pa. Code § 131.5. Definitions.

§ 131.5. Definitions.

 (a)  The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   Act—The Workers’ Compensation Act (77 P.S. § §  1—1041.4 and 2501—2708).

   Additional defendant—An insurance carrier, the Commonwealth or an employer, other than the insurance carrier or employer against which the original petition was filed, joined under this chapter, not including the Uninsured Employers Guaranty Fund.

   Adjudicating judge—A judge assigned to hold hearings and issue decisions relating to a petition or petitions.

   Board—The Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board.

   Challenge proceeding—A proceeding governed by §  131.50a (relating to employee request for special supersedeas hearing under section 413(c) and (d) of the act).

   Claim petition—A petition filed with the Department under section 410 of the act (77 P.S. §  751).

   Claimant—An individual who files a petition for, or otherwise receives, benefits under the act or the Disease Law.

   Defendant—An employer, insurance carrier and the Commonwealth, unless specifically designated individually, and the Uninsured Employers Guaranty Fund, except for purposes of joinder, penalties or assessment of counsel fees under section 440 of the act (77 P.S. §  996).

   Department—The Department of Labor and Industry of the Commonwealth.

   Department record—Official copies of documents received by the Department, on forms prescribed by the Department, if forms prescribed by the Department are available, or official copies of documents received by the Department on forms prepared by a party if forms prescribed by the Department are not available, which record transactions between the parties and which are determined by the judge to pertain to the case.

   Director of Adjudication—The individual specified in section 1402 of the act (77 P.S. §  2502).

   Disease Law—The Pennsylvania Occupational Disease Act (77 P.S. § §  1201—1603).

   Insurer—A workers’ compensation insurance carrier or self-insured employer, as applicable.

   Judge—A workers’ compensation judge assigned by the Office of Adjudication as provided in sections 401 and 401.1 of the act (77 P. S. § §  701 and 710) or assigned by the Office of Adjudication to determine a petition filed under the act or the Disease Law.

   Judge manager—A workers’ compensation judge with management responsibilities appointed under the Civil Service Act (71 P. S. § §  741.1—741.1005).

   Mandatory mediation—A mediation conducted by a mediating judge under §  131.59b (relating to mandatory mediation).

   Mediating judge—A judge assigned to mediate petitions in accordance with sections 401 and 401.1 of the act and this chapter.

   Mediation—A conference conducted by a judge, having as its purpose an attempt to reconcile any or all disputes under the act or this chapter existing between contending parties. Mediation can be either mandatory or voluntary.

   Office of Adjudication—The Office of the Department created under section 1401(a) of the act (77 P. S. §  2501(a)).

   Party—A claimant, defendant, employer, insurance carrier, additional defendant, health care provider and, if relevant, the Commonwealth and the Uninsured Employers Guaranty Fund. An act required or authorized by this chapter, to be done by or to a party, may be done by or to that party’s counsel of record.

   Penalty proceeding—A proceeding governed by section 435(d) of the act (77 P. S. §  991(d)).

   Records of work environment—Records and documents relating to work place health, safety, hazards and exposure, including records or documents which may be obtained under the Worker and Community Right-to-Know Act (35 P. S. § §  7301—7320) and 29 CFR 1901.1—1928.1027 (relating to Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Department of Labor).

   Resolution hearing—A procedure established by the Office of Adjudication with the sole purpose of providing a venue to present a compromise and release to a judge in an expedited fashion.

   Statement previously made—A written statement signed or otherwise adopted or approved by the persons making it, or a stenographic, mechanical, electrical, computer-generated or other recording, or transcription thereof, which is a substantially verbatim recital of an oral statement by the person making it and contemporaneously recorded. The term does not include statements made by parties which are protected by the attorney-client privilege or which are protected as the work product of counsel.

   Supersedeas—A temporary stay affecting a workers’ compensation case.

   UEGF—Uninsured Employers Guaranty Fund—The special fund established under Article XVI of the act (77 P. S. § §  2701—2708).

   UEGF claim petition—A petition filed with the Department under section 1604 of the act (77 P. S. §  2704)

   Voluntary mediation—A mediation conducted by a judge under §  131.59a (relating to voluntary mediation) upon the agreement of the contending parties and the judge.

   Writing—Includes electronic communications in a format as prescribed by the Department.

 (b)  Subsection (a) supersedes 1 Pa. Code § §  31.3 and 33.33 (relating to definitions; and effect of service upon an attorney).


   The provisions of this §  131.5 amended under sections 401.1, 435(a) and (c) and 1608 of the Workers’ Compensation Act (77 P. S. § §  710, 991(a) and (c) and 2708); section 2205 of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P. S. §  565); and section 414 of The Pennsylvania Occupational Disease Act (77 P. S. §  1514).


   The provisions of this §  131.5 adopted November 6, 1981, effective November 7, 1981, 11 Pa.B. 4015; amended March 29, 1991, effective March 30, 1991, 21 Pa.B. 1401; amended December 6, 2002, effective December 7, 2002, 32 Pa.B. 6043; amended October 16, 2009, effective October 17, 2009, 39 Pa.B. 6038; amended December 19, 2014, effective December 20, 2014, 44 Pa.B. 7837. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (345973) to (345976).

Notes of Decisions


   This regulation is substantive and will not be applied retroactively. Borman v. Workmen’s Compensation Appeal Board, 643 A.2d 780 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1994); appeal denied. Bechtel Constr. Co. v. Borman, 663 A.2d (Pa. 1995).


   A referee does not have jurisdiction to join an insurance agency in a workers’ compensation case. Additional defendants, joined by a referee, must be insurance carriers. Antimary v. Workmen’s Compensation Appeal Board, 655 A.2d 659 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1995).

   The referee did not commit error or an abuse of discretion in granting four continuances to an employer who encountered delay in submitting medical reports to its expert witness. Further, the petitioner failed to demonstrate that she had been prejudiced by the grant of the continuances. Kraushaar v. Workmen’s Compensation Appeal Board, 596 A.2d 1233 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1991); appeal denied 626 A.2d 1160 (Pa. 1992).

Cross References

   This section cited in 34 Pa. Code §  131.201 (relating to petitions).

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