You have been injured while at work. You have dealt with all of the paperwork, all of the pain, all of the back and forth with doctors, your employer, everything! And yet, you’re still sunk in bills.
You want to focus on recovery. You want to be 100% healthy and working again. You want to take back control of your life. You reach for your phone and say to it, “Ok Google, when does workman’s comp start paying?”
Luckily Google brought you here, where the expert team of Work Injury Lawyers at Krasno Krasno & Onwudinjo have assembled the definitive answer to your question. Work-related injuries can be tough to deal with and emotionally draining. You must prepare yourself to wait for the benefits, not including medical benefits, because it can take a lot of time to get workers’ compensation. The claims examiner must pick apart every part of your case to make sure that you are eligible for insurance. Individuals cases must be analyzed by claims examiners before anyone can receive benefits for their case.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Workers’ Compensation Check?
The good news about workers’ compensation benefits is that you will not have to wait for all of them; some workers’ comp benefits will be given to you immediately. Despite how long it takes for workers’ compensation checks to start being paid to you, most states have laws in place that requires employers to pay your medical bills before your claim is either accepted or denied. Eligibility will be determined by the claims manager for the employer’s insurance company. The entitlement of your injury depends on the severity of your injuries and your ability to work.
Medical Benefits Will Begin Immediately
When workers’ comp does start for you, all of the medical bills that are revolving solely around your workers’ compensation injury will be paid for by either your employer, your employer’s insurance company, or the state (if the state is the insurer), directly after you file for your workers’ compensation claim. Your claim does not necessarily have to be denied or accepted before you can start receiving benefits.
Your Medical Benefits Explained
It is also important to remember that you do not need to open a workers’ compensation claim before you receive medical treatment. If you believe that you were hurt at work, you should seek help from your employer immediately, and make an appointment with a doctor. From there, your doctor will be able to assess your injury and document all work-related injuries.
If you have not yet filed for workers’ compensation benefits and you are receiving medical bills for a work-related injury, then you will need to start by filling out an injury report. Then, after submitting this report to your employer, they will file a workers’ compensation claim on your behalf.
When you go into the doctor’s office for your appointment, you should state to your doctor that you filed or are planning to file for workers’ compensation insurance. From there, your doctor will be able to bill either your employer or the insurance company for your work-related medical injury.
In most states, employers are required to pay for your medical benefits regardless if your workers’ compensation claim was denied or accepted. In this case, you will never have to pay for those medical bills, even if in the future your application is rejected.
When do My Non-Medical Workers’ Compensation Benefits Begin?
Pennsylvania has Temporary Total Disability, which provides full wage loss benefits when you are totally out of work. Partial disability benefits are provided when you have wage loss due to a work injury and are dealing with reduced income.
Before you receive a check for your benefits, you will receive a notice accepting the claim or a denial rejecting your claim. It is important to contact a lawyer whether your claim is accepted or denied. If it is accepted, Krasno Krasno and Onwudinjo lawyers will monitor the case for free. If it is denied, they will file a petition on your behalf and can request an appeal. You will not receive benefits until your appeal is accepted.
Even when your claim is accepted, you will not receive workers’ compensation benefits until your injury is assessed and approved. There are two ways to accept a claim:
- Notice of Compensation Payable means you will receive wage loss benefits and payment of medical expenses if your doctor takes you out of work entirely.
- Medical Only Notice of Compensation Payable means you will only receive medical benefits because you are not missing work but are receiving medical care.
Also, if you are given a Temporary Notice of Compensation Payable, this means your employer through its insurance company will pay you but can change their mind within the first 90 days after your injury.
Does Workers’ Compensation pay me each week?
Under the Workers’ Compensation Act in all states, your employer must pay your benefits as they would pay your paycheck normally. If you are paid on a weekly basis, you should receive your workers’ compensation check weekly. Although the Pennsylvania law states that your check should be distributed the same as your normal paycheck, they are often late. If you notice that you are working and only receiving partial workers’ compensation checks, then you should keep track of your paystubs and make sure that you are getting the money that you deserve from the insurance company.
There are rules as to when workers’ compensation payments must be made. The rules are as follows:
- An insurance carrier must give written notice within 21 days of the injury being reported, stating that it is either being accepted or denied. Insurance carriers are required to stick in a time frame, but they will usually take all of the time that they are allowed.
- If an injured worker misses fewer than seven days of work, then compensation does not need to be given. Disability is not required for disability that requires fewer than fourteen days of work. However, if more than fourteen days of work are missed, then the days that were earlier lost will become payable.
- Benefits are considered payable under the workers’ compensation act “in periodical installments, as the wages of the employee were payable before the injury.” This states that if a worker was paid weekly when they were working, then their benefit checks should also be paid weekly. Same goes for if the paychecks were issued biweekly. Insurance carriers often ignore what the status of their paycheck billing was and issue the check bi-weekly.
- Payments will not be considered late if they are made on either the day before or the day of the paycheck date. For example, if the employer pays the employee on a Friday but the end of the pay period is on a Monday, then the insurance company is allowed to pay the workers’ compensation check on Monday. Sometimes, insurance companies will issue the employee’s check sooner than the employer would have issued their paycheck. Although there is nothing wrong with the insurance company paying the check out early, the employee will have a harder time convincing the judge, at a later point, that the insurance company issued a check later than they should have.
- Penalties, of up to 50%, can be issued to the insurance company is a payment is sent late. What is considered unacceptable by the insurance company, however, is decided ultimately by the workers’ compensation judge. On a more practical note, it is very unlikely that an employer will issue a penalty to an insurance company if a payment is a couple days late.
Can you work while on workers compensation?
Yes, you can. In fact, an injured worker can change companies or professions and still receive the Workers’ Compensation benefits he/she is entitled to due to a work-related injury. In certain instances, the amount of workers’ compensation you receive will be affected by the continued employment; however, in other types of cases, continuing employment will have no effect on your Workers’ Compensation benefits.
Some workplace injuries are so severe that the injured party may be unable to work for months or even years. However, it is more common for employees to sustain injuries at work that, while not totally disabling, are partially disabling. This makes it difficult, if not impossible to perform their previous job duties. For more in-depth information, read our article on light or modified duty to see what’s possible if you plan on working while you’re on workers’ compensation.
Are You Waiting Too Long for Workers’ Compensation Payments to Start?
If you were injured at work and are only able to work on light or modified duty, it is important to speak with an experienced work injury lawyer who can fight for your rights.