Settling a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation claim is pretty common practice. The primary question my clients have after agreeing to a settlement is how long it takes to get the settlement check. Understandably so. So, how long does it take?
The Workers’ Comp Settlement Process
Let’s walk through the settlement process. Most cases typically settle through the mediation process. You can read more about that here. However, some cases settle just through ongoing discussions between your attorney and the attorney for the employer or with the insurance carrier.
So let’s assume we settle the case at mediation. The next step in the process is to get a hearing date for settlement. While awaiting the settlement hearing date, your attorney and the employer’s attorney are working on drafting settlement documents. This is a packet of documents that reflect the settlement terms, addresses child support, a waiver of appeal, and in most cases a resignation letter or general release.
Once the settlement documents are finalized, you will then be scheduled to review and sign the documents with your attorney.
The Workers’ Comp Settlement Hearing
In Pennsylvania, a settlement hearing is required when settling a workers’ compensation case. The hearing can last between 5 and 20 minutes, depending on the individual Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) and their process.
It is important to note that a WCJ’s decision in approving a settlement is based on whether you understand the full legal significance of settling your case and the impact settling has on your workers’ compensation rights. It is not the WCJ’s decision to decide if the settlement is a good or bad deal for you. That’s between you and your attorney. You will be asked questions about the terms of settlement. You should be well prepared after reviewing the documents and signing them with your attorney.
So how long does it take to get the settlement check after the hearing?
After the settlement hearing, the Judge must issue a written decision approving the settlement. That typically takes between 1 and 7 days. Once the WCJ issues the written decision, then the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act requires payment within 20 days of the decision. Typically, if you sign and agree to the waiver of appeal, the settlement funds will be distributed within two weeks. However, that is not a guarantee. The insurance carrier has the full 20 days to send the settlement check. Failure to do so can lead to penalties against her insurance carrier.
If you have questions about your workers’ compensation case, whether settling your case is right for you, and what your case is worth, call Mooney Law for an absolutely free consultation. We have obtained tens of millions of dollars for Pennsylvania and Maryland injured workers. Furthermore, we can provide not just a case evaluation for you, but also work through whether settlement is right for you. Call today at 717-632-4656 or 717-200-HELP to schedule a free consultation. You can also email us direct at email@example.com. Finally, you can schedule a consult at Mooney4Law.com.