Where is my worker’s compensation check?
You’ve probably asked yourself this for the past few days. Hence, why you are reading this article.
Don’t worry. You are not alone. Many injured workers all across the country are frustrated because of delayed workers’ compensation checks. 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.
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 are not anymore qualified for workers comp.
When your check is delayed, the first thing to do is call the insurance company. Ask for the adjuster or claims representative. There are a lot of reasons why your check got delayed. Sometimes it’s a simple clerical error. Other times, it’s because the 104-week limit is up. Under Florida law, temporary partial disability payments should last no more than 104 weeks.
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
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 you haven’t yet received your check.
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’re also knowledgeable of the state’s worker’s compensation laws.
Because of these, a worker’s compensation lawyer can speed up the release of your workers comp check. They can also ensure that you get the right amount of benefits you are entitled to.
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 check. 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 7 days after the payment is due.
For example, you reported your claim on the 1st of June. On June 21, 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 Law has over 25 years of litigation experience, we are 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 also recognized by our peers. 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.