One of the first questions I am always asked by a new work injury client is how soon will workers comp checks start to be paid while out of work. Given the impact it has on life and family budgets, that is completely understandable. The answer varies depending on the status and posture of each individual’s claim. Let me explain.
First, let’s take the more simplistic scenario of an accepted case. If the insurance carrier accepts the case through a Notice of Compensation Payable, payments are to begin within 21 days of reporting an injury. It is that simple. If the insurance carrier fails to do so, they may be susceptible to additional penalties under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. This 21 days period is considered an investigatory period for the insurance carrier and your employer. The best to ensure compliance is to immediately engage an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, such as us here at Mooney law.
Second, it becomes more complex if the claim is accepted as a Medical Only claim. In this scenario, the insurance carrier has decided to accept your claim, but only to pay medical treatment. The carrier is effectively denying that you are suffering wage loss due to the work injury. The description of injury becomes a critical issue in these cases, even those that are accepted. Many battles are fought over the actual description of a work injury. Carriers are not shy about fighting injury description because of the liability of medical treatment often becomes substantial.
In this scenario, wage loss benefits will not begin within 21 days. In fact, wage loss benefits could very well be months and months away. Let me explain. In a Medical Only claim, you essentially have to prove wage loss. That means workers’ compensation litigation, which could take well up to 8 to 10 months if the case never settled. I have a prior article right here to explain the litigation process further.
Third, likewise as a Medical Only, if your case is denied by the insurance carrier you have to file and litigate a Claim Petition. The other difference in a denied claim is that the insurance carrier is also refusing to pay for medical treatment. Again, payment of wage loss benefits may be 8 to 10 months off should you prevail on the Claim Petition.
Throughout litigation, cases may settle that can get you money sooner. Additionally, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney may also be able to, depending on facts and case posture of the case, to geta Stipulation agreement in place accepting some of the claim. That is very fact and evidence driven.
As you can see, workers’ compensation is a very complex process and area of law. Going it alone puts your case in jeopardy. If you are injured at work, one of the best and simplest thing to do to fight for and protect your benefits is to call the experienced, proven, and trusted attorneys at Mooney Law. Our consultations are free. We have collected tens of millions of dollars on behalf of Pennsylvania injured workers. Call us today at 717-200-HELP or 717-632-4656. You can also email us direct at firstname.lastname@example.org. Finally, you can visit us on the web at Mooney4Law.com to complete a Schedule a Consultation form. It’s free. We can help. Call us today.