When you’re out of work due to an on the job injury, a small delay in payment can cause big financial headaches. How long is too long? Temporary benefit checks are not paid on any set schedule. The truth is the workers’ compensation carrier has 30 days to pay you your benefits.
Under New Jersey law, insurance carriers and employers have 30 days to pay temporary benefits before a penalty is assessed. NJSA 34:15-28.1 discusses delay or refusal in payment of temporary benefits, stating, “A delay of 30 days or more shall give rise to a rebuttable presumption of unreasonable and negligent conduct on the part of a self-insured or uninsured employer or an employer’s insurance carrier. If the carrier takes more than 30 days to pay your temporary benefits, the Courts can grant a 25% penalty. This is the motivation for the carrier to pay on time.”
There are many reasons for delays. For instance, insurance adjusters will often wait until they review a doctor’s report before actually issuing a temporary benefits check. Unfortunately there is not much that can be done to force the carrier’s hand before the 30 day deadline. If a temporary benefits check is a few days late, there is not much that can be done besides a phone call.
What does work is vigilance. When benefit delays occur, I ask my clients to obtain an out of work note at each doctor’s visit, at this point, our office will send the out of work note to the insurance carrier and contact the adjuster to make sure the benefits will be paid. If the carrier continues to delay, our office can file a motion with the Court.
If you’re experiencing problems collecting out of work benefits, please contact me for a free consultation regarding what can be done. I am Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Workers’ Compensation law attorney and have represented hundreds of clients who have been hurt on the job. I see every day how these claims impact people’s lives and in the event that you have been injured at work, I strongly recommend you consult with us.
James Creegan is a Shareholder in Stark & Stark’s Lawrenceville, New Jersey office concentrating his practice in Workers’ Compensation law. For questions, or to schedule a free consultaiton with Mr. Creegan, please contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.