One of the stated objectives of the workers’ compensation laws is to help injured workers start collecting benefits more swiftly than would be possible in a civil suit in court. But how long will it be before you actually start to receive benefits?
When You Are Eligible for Benefits
It’s important to understand that, while you can’t actually file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits until you have been out of work for a least one calendar week, your compensation actually starts on the date of your injury. If you are out a week, file a claim and your claim is approved, your payments will be retroactive to the first day you were unable to earn your compensation. Note that this only applies to compensation for lost wages—there is no similar provision requiring that you wait seven days to seek payment for medical treatment.
When Will Payments Actually Start?
Even under the best of circumstances, it will likely be at least two weeks before you receive your first payment, as there’s a certain amount of time required to process your claim.
Furthermore, if your claim is challenged, you won’t see any payments until the any disputes are resolved. However, your employer and the workers’ compensation insurance company cannot engage in unreasonable delays. Under the law, a delay of more than 30 days can be considered unreasonable (provided there are no legitimate challenges to your claim) and the insurance provider may be subject to an additional 25% penalty for wrongful delays.
We handle all workers’ compensation cases on a contingency basis. There will be no attorney fees unless we get compensation for your losses.