One of the most frequent calls I receive from my workers’ comp clients is that their workers’ compensation check is late. Unfortunately, (and I don’t believe that this is the client’s fault), the calls I receive are from the same client’s again and again. This means that the same insurance companies are routinely late in processing their weekly workers’ comp checks.
Is this surprising? Not at all. If you think about it, the insurance companies job is to make being on workers’ comp as difficult as possible. That way, when the time comes to try and settle your case, you will be thinking in the back of your head about all those late checks and how you just want that to be over. When your weekly workers’ comp check is late, it puts you and your family in financial jeopardy. I understand that the injured worker depends on these checks to pay their bills and feed their family. A check that is a week late can have devastating effects on an injured worker and their family.
Unfortunately, the insurance companies know this, so they will do everything they can to push the limits of the law.
What can you do if your check is late? If it is a routine occurrence, I recommend that you hire a lawyer. If nothing else, you would then have someone you can call when the check doesn’t come in and they can bother the insurance company until you receive your check. If the check is more than 14 days late, then you are entitled to a 10% penalty on the amount that is late by more than 14 days.
So, in a nutshell, here is what you do if your check is late:
- Determine whether there was a holiday that would have delayed the mail. This frequently is a cause of late checks.
- Look to the history of your payments. Is this an isolated incident, or a more frequent problem. You may want to keep a log of your checks and the dates you received them since your case was opened.
- If this is an ongoing problem, or if checks are longer than 14 days late, you need to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer.
- Once you have a lawyer, contact them. My office will call the adjuster once or twice a day until the client receives their check or we receive verification that the checks have been paid on time.