Many injured workers complain that their workers’ compensation checks are not on time. Unfortunately, laws in Virginia provide employers and insurance companies significant leeway when sending payments to you. However, there may be a remedy when these checks become irregular or late.
Pursuant to Va. Code § 65.2-524, the employer and its insurance company are responsible for a 20% penalty on all payments that are more than 14 days late. While we agree that waiting 14 days is too long to wait when your bills are piling up, this law eventually allows you to get the insurance company’s attention. If your checks are mailed more than 14 days late, you can file a claim for this penalty with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission on all delinquent payments. Always remember to save the envelope when you receive the late check because the postmark date will be your evidence that the check was not mailed on time.
Before filing for a penalty, it is also critically important that you have an award for ongoing disability checks. If the insurance company is sending checks without this “award” from the Commission, then the law for a penalty at Va. Code § 65.2-524 cannot help you. Therefore, always be sure that you file the appropriate claims for the appropriate benefits with the Commission. Unfortunately, procedure for workers’ compensation benefits can be very confusing. Call us to discuss your case and your benefits to make sure that you are receiving all benefits.