Every month, many injured workers across the US complain about delayed workers’ comp checks. The most common question you’ll hear from them is: Where is my workers’ compensation check?
There are a lot of reasons why you still haven’t got your workers’ compensation check. It could be lost in the mail or sent to a different address by mistake (yes, it happens). Or if you still haven’t received word about your workers’ compensation claim, maybe your insurance provider is taking their sweet time “processing” it. But if this is not your first payment, it could be that your check is just delayed.
In cases like this, you should talk to your insurance provider. If that doesn’t work, you can go to the nearest Florida Division of Workers Compensation Employee Assistance Office (EAO). You can also call them at (800) 342-1741 or e-mail them at email@example.com.
When Should I Receive My Workers’ Comp Check?
Workers’ comp regulations vary by state. But in Florida, you should receive your first workers’ comp check within 21 days (for temporary disability) and 14 days (for total disability and death) after reporting your injury to your employer. The check should come regularly thereafter until you’re not any more qualified to receive workers’ compensation.
Workers’ comp payments may also stop if the insurance provider suspects fraud. Or that you have already reached MMI and are now ready to go back to work. Most of the time, you’ll receive a notice about it before your payments will stop coming.
What to Do When Your Check is Delayed
As mentioned, calling the insurance company should be your first step if you really want to know what happened to your check. Ask for the adjuster or claims representative.
If they tell you that your check was mailed, then it probably just got lost in the mail. If this is the case, you should inform them Take care of all services about your new address (if you moved). Or ask for a tracking number of the mailed check so you can verify it with the courier.
But if they say that they haven’t mailed your check yet, then you should ask them why it got delayed.
Workers’ comp checks get delayed for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s just a simple clerical error. You should talk it out with your claims adjuster to know how best to proceed.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for insurance companies to ignore complaints from injured workers. In fact, some of them deliberately refuse to correct any errors on their side to avoid paying benefits.
When talking to them doesn’t work, it’s high time you hire a workers compensation lawyer.
Why You Need a Workers Compensation Lawyer
We all know how hard it is to make ends meet when you are disabled and can’t go to work. A delayed benefits check can make it more difficult.
But lodging a complaint about a delayed workers’ compensation check can be a stressful affair. It is very common for insurance companies to come up with excuses as to why your check isn’t available yet.
The most common excuse you’ll hear from an insurer is that they are still “processing” your claim. Sometimes they’ll say that they are still conducting an investigation on your claim. They are also known for “misplacing” or “forgetting” workers’ compensation claims.
These excuses are the reason why you need a workers’ compensation lawyer. They’re not only used to confronting insurance companies who are not holding up to their end of the bargain. They are also knowledgeable of the state’s worker’s compensation laws.
Because of these, your workers’ comp attorney can speed up the release of your workers’ comp check. They can also ensure that you get the right amount of compensation you deserve.
Penalty for Late Workers’ Comp Check
One lesser-known fact about workers’ compensation is that insurers are required to pay a penalty for delayed workers’ comp checks. Every state has different penalty rates and rules.
In Florida, insurance carriers have to pay a penalty of 20% of the total late payment. That is if they fail to release the check within seven days after the payment is due.
For example, you reported your claim on the 1st of June. On June 21st, you should be able to receive your check. If it arrives on the 22nd of June, the insurer will bear no penalty. But if you receive it later than June 28, you are entitled to a penalty in addition to your delayed benefits.
There are, however, exceptions to this rule. The insurance carrier will not be required to pay any penalty if:
- they can prove that the late payment or non-payment is due to circumstances beyond their control
- if they invoke the right to “pay and investigate claim” using the 120-day period allowed by law
In addition to the penalty, they will also pay interest at the rate of 12% per year. This will commence from the day the benefits are due up to when the benefits are paid. The interest payment shall be the greater of the interest due or $5.
VICTOR MALCA LAW – A TRUSTED NAME IN FLORIDA
Victor Malca P.A. has over 25 years of litigation experience in Workers Compensation and Social Security Disability lawsuits. His experience and continued success in fighting for his clients puts among the most trusted workers’ compensation lawyers in Florida. Our area of expertise is in representing injured workers on compensation benefit cases and disabled individuals claim social security disability benefits.
Our unwavering advocacy for employee rights and privileges are recognized by our past clients across South Florida. Book a free consultation today.
About The Author
Judy Ponio is a writer for Victor Malca Law P.A. and enjoys helping people with questions about social security, workers compensation, and other serious matters involving people’s livelihood. She is not an attorney and her writing should not be considered legal advice.