Waiting Periods: How Long Until I Receive My First Workers’ Compensation Check? 
If you've been injured at work, you may be wondering how long it will take to receive your first workers' compensation check. In California there are legal time frames for paying benefits that the employer must meet or face penalties. In this article you will learn the time frames for receiving temporary disability money benefits after a workplace injury. Remember, this is general information that is meant to help you. It is not legal advice. Read below for more about waiting periods: how long until I receive my first workers compensation check.
If you've been injured at work, you may be wondering how long it will take to receive your first workers compensation check. The answer depends on a variety of factors, but you may be able to get your benefits sooner than you think. Keep reading to learn the basics of your situation.
Getting Past The Three-Day Waiting Period Under Labor Code 4652
Employees are generally required to miss three days of work before becoming entitled to receive temporary disability benefits. This waiting period is known as the first three days of lost time, lost wages or wage loss. The purpose of this law is to encourage employees to return to work promptly after sustaining an injury. If the employee sustains less than three days of wage loss, then the employer generally has no liability under the Labor Code to compensate the employee for that loss.
If the employee sustains more than three days of wage loss, then entitlement to benefits commences on the fourth day. But there are exceptions to the three-day waiting period for more serious injuries. If you've been hospitalized for your injury, you are entitled to temporary disability benefits starting on the first day of hospitalization. If you're disabled for more than 14 days (15 days or more) because of your work injury, then the three-day waiting period is likewise waived.
Day 14 Getting Your First Check Sent Out By The Adjuster
The employer is required to send out payment of temporary disability no later than 14 days after knowledge of the workplace injury. The date of knowledge is usually the date that the employer receives notice from the employee. The first benefit payment should include all benefits due for the waiting period.
For example, if the injured worker is disabled for two 5-day weeks and has a three-day waiting period, the first benefit payment should include benefits for all 7 days missed.
For example, if the injured worker is hospitalized or is disabled for two weeks and it appears from doctor reports the disability is continuing into a third week, then the first benefit payment should include benefits for all days missed.
Receiving Your First Compensation Check On Day 19-21
Workers Compensation checks are sent out by USPS First-Class Mail. Expect 5-7 days for mailing your check. Hopefully you have a stable address to receive your check. Be sure the adjuster has the right mailing address. If this information is incorrect, then your check won't get to you. This could delay things further.
Exceptions To Getting Your Check Cut On Day 14
There are several exceptions your adjuster can use to delay sending out payment on day 14. Be aware of all of these and contact a lawyer if you have questions.
No Doctor's Report
If the injured worker does not have a doctor's report indicating that they are disabled, the adjuster can delay sending out payment.
The adjuster will want to see a doctor's report before authorizing any benefits. This is because, under the law, an injured worker can only receive benefits if they are actually disabled. A doctor's report is the best way to determine if the injured worker meets this legal requirement.
Delayed Claim Waiting Period
The adjuster may also delay sending out payment if the doctor's report is incomplete or doesn't match employer level investigation. For example, the adjuster may need more information about the nature and extent of the injury.
The adjuster will send out a Notice of Delay of Payment detailing the reason for the delay and when the injured worker can expect to receive their first benefit payment.
Disputed Claim Waiting Period
If there is a dispute after investigation about whether the injury happened at work or not, your adjuster can deny sending out payment until the dispute is resolved.
Controverted Claim Waiting Period
If the employer does not agree that the employee is entitled to receive benefits, the adjuster can delay sending out payment.
All of these delays must be for a good reason and the adjuster must notify the employee in writing of the delay and the reason for it.
Subsequent Benefit Payments
After the initial benefit payment, subsequent payments should be made at least once every two weeks. If the injured worker is still disabled, the payments should continue until he or she reaches maximum medical improvement (MMI) or is determined to be permanently disabled.
An injured worker who is receiving temporary disability benefits may also be eligible for other types of benefits, such as supplemental job displacement vouchers or permanent disability.
What If My Employer Fails to Pay My Temporary Disability Benefits?
If your employer has failed to pay your temporary disability benefits, you may be entitled to a penalty. Be sure to keep calling the adjuster and stay on top of when and where your check is arriving. If you believe your employer is disputing your injury, then don't wait too long. Call a lawyer and get advice about what to do next.
Penalties For Late Payments
The penalty for an employer paying temporary disability benefits late. The adjuster is supposed to add 10% penalty for any clearly late payments. How clear the violation is depends on the adjusters reasoning for the delay. Simply making a mistake or overlooking a record does not excuse the failure.
If the adjuster doesn't self-impose the penalty, then it's time to consider going for that 25% penalty under Labor Code 5814. You can request the 25% penalty from the claims administrator in addition to any other benefits you may be owed.
Medical Benefits Are Owed Up To $10,000 Until the Claim Is Denied
It is important to note that even if an injured worker is not receiving benefits, the employer is still required to pay for authorized medical treatment. An injured worker who is not receiving benefits should still receive medical treatment if it is authorized by the claims administrator.
The medical benefits that are owed to an injured worker can be up to $10000. This is true even if the claim is later denied and the injured worker is not eligible to receive any benefits. It's important to keep in mind that the $10000 is only for medical treatment that has been authorized by the claims administrator. If the injured worker receives treatment that is not authorized, they may be responsible for the entire cost of the treatment.
Consulting The Right Lawyers About Your Workers' Comp Benefits
This has been Waiting Periods: How Long Until I Receive My First Workers Compensation Check. You should contact a workers' compensation attorney to discuss your rights and options. An attorney can help you file a claim for benefits or appeal a denial of benefits. An attorney can also help you if you are having trouble getting your benefits or if you have questions about the workers' compensation system. It is important to remember that you have a limited time to file a claim for benefits. Call 866-NAPOLIN to schedule a free and confidential consultation today.
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