Late workers’ compensation checks can have an immeasurable effect on your finances. You are relying on this money, and you need it to pay bills. If your check is late, you may not have the money that you need to pay crucial things like rent and other bills. Your credit rating can be harmed, and you may have to go without things that you absolutely need.
Here is what you should know about the actual payment process of workers’ comp checks and what you can do if a check is late. Horton Mendez Injury Attorneys can help you with complex workers’ compensation issues like these.
How Often Do Workers’ Compensation Checks Come?
In North Carolina, workers’ compensation checks begin to arrive 21 days after you first notify an employer of your work-related injury (assuming that your claim was approved). Workers’ compensation benefits are not like other types of regular checks when it is more convenient for the payor to put your check on autopay.
Workers’ compensation insurance companies like to perform continuous oversight on your claim, so they do not pay you a single penny extra. Accordingly, they will prefer to send you manual checks each week so that they can supervise payment as closely as possible. This process can lead to issues with your check.
In general, you are better off requesting direct deposit of your check from the insurance company. There is a chance that the insurance company will agree to your request. It will undoubtedly cut down on payment issues, although you can still experience problems with payments not being made on time.
Workers’ compensation benefits are paid on a weekly basis. The medical benefits are paid to your treatment providers upon billing. The insurance company tries to keep to a strict weekly schedule to pay these benefits, and they do not like to deviate from it.
However, there can be issues when your check does not arrive on time. The insurance carrier may not cut the check on the same day each week, leading to gaps between payments.
How Can I Track My Workers’ Compensation Check?
The bad news is that there is no surefire way to track your benefits check. You can call the claims adjuster, but they will not likely have access to the information that you need, if you can even get them to take your call.
The problem is that you may be in the dark when you are waiting for a check that has not arrived. You will usually not get a notification that the check was even sent, so you will have no idea when it will arrive.
Generally, the only way that you know that your check has been paid is when it arrives. Alternatively, if you do have direct deposit, the bank may send you a notification when the deposit is made to your account,
You may end up spending quite a bit of time making phone calls and sending emails before you realize that there is very little that you can do to get information.
If Your Workers’ Compensation Check Is Late
What can make your situation even more stressful is that the insurance company can delay your check on purpose. They may want you to be desperate and fearful, so you are more likely to agree to a settlement on their terms.
Although you will hope that your failure to receive a check is an oversight or sloppy bookkeeping, there may be something far worse to blame. You may need to contact an attorney to take legal action to get the benefits that you deserve.
The good news is that North Carolina law will punish insurance companies who do not pay you on time. If your check has not arrived within 14 days, the North Carolina Industrial Commission can penalize the insurance company and make them pay you an additional 10 percent on your check.
Although this penalty does not make up for the stress that you have experienced, it should keep insurance companies from making late payments a regular habit. They do not want to pay more money than they owe. However, they can still delay the check a couple of days here and there, and you have little control over the situation.
Unfortunately, you may need to take legal action to get your money if the check has not arrived. You may need to file a Motion to Compel the insurance company to make payment. The Industrial Commission will then compel the insurance company to send you a check.
Although this is unnecessary stress, it is something that you have to deal with when the check does not come, and you cannot get any answers from the insurance company.
Contact a Wilmington Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
At Horton Mendez Injury Attorneys, we know the workers’ compensation system and the ways that insurance companies will make your life harder. Although you will think that insurance companies will be above playing games with injured workers who need the money, it is precisely what they do all the time.
If you are getting the runaround, or your claim has been denied in the first place, you can call us for help. To speak to one of our lawyers, you can send us a message online or call us today at (910) 668-8067.
Workers’ Compensation Attorney FAQs
Can I afford a workers’ compensation attorney?
You do not need to pay any money upfront to a workers’ compensation attorney. You only pay us if you win your case.
Is a workers’ compensation attorney necessary for my case?
It depends on your case, but it will be difficult to handle a complex case on your own. You will certainly need an attorney if your claim has been denied and you need to file an appeal.
What should I look for in a workers’ compensation attorney?
First, you need an attorney with specific experience handling complex workers’ compensation cases. Then, you should hire an attorney who can take the time to listen to you and understand your concerns.