One of the most frequently asked questions my office receives is — when will I get my first workers compensation check? Frequently, the answer I provide is not what the injured worker wants to hear. Let me explain.
First and foremost, the first thing to understand is that any payments that may be due you may not begin flowing until after three weeks. Why? The Statute provides the employer a 21 day window to investigate the work injury claim. The 21 day period commences from the date that you provided notice of the injury, not from the actual date of injury. For example, if you were hurt on January, 1 2014, but you did not tell your employer about the injury until January 15, 2014, then 21 day period would not begin to run until January 15, 2014.
Before the 21 day period expires, the workers compensation insurance carrier is required to accept or deny your injury via a standard Bureau form, a Notice of Compensation Payable, a Notice of Temporary Compensation Payable, or a Notice of Compensation Denial.
After the 21 day period, if your employer/workers compensation carrier accepts your injury, payment shall commence. Now, there is an additional rule, the 7/14 rule. What this rule means is that the workers compensation carrier is NOT required to pay you wage loss benefits until you have missed at least 7 days of work. If you miss less than 7 days, then you are not entitled to wage loss benefits. On the 8th day missed, the legal requirement to pay wage loss benefits begins from that point, forward. The wrinkle to that rule is that the insurance carrier is not required to pay you for the first 7 days missed until you have missed 14 days. For example, if you are off work for a total of 10 days, you would be paid 3 days of disability benefits, not 10 days. However, if you are off 14 or more days, then you will receive retroactive payments all the way back to the first day of disability.
No one said the rule is fair. But, it is the law.
If you have been injured at work, call Mooney & Associates for a FREE consultation. We have 12 office locations throughout South Central Pennsylvania, including fully staffed offices in Chambersburg, Shippensburg, Carlisle, Harrisburg, York, Gettysburg, and Hanover.