Today’s post comes from guest author Brody Ockander from Rehm, Bennett & Moore.
My work comp check was late or hasn’t come yet. Now what?
If you are entitled to workers’ compensation checks, and the insurance company has not paid them on time, you might be entitled to a penalty from the insurance company in addition to the amount that you are owed.
The penalties for late payments vary from state to state, but most states have laws to help workers when this problem arises.
In Nebraska, the work comp insurance company has 30 days to pay benefits from the day that it has notice of the disability, or 30 days from the day that the Court entered an Order, Award, or Judgment. If the insurance company does not pay the benefits within those 30 days, you may be entitled to a 50% penalty in addition to what you are owed.
For example, if the Court enters an Award on January 1 that you are entitled to $20,000, and if the insurance company does not pay, or at least mail the check, by January 31, you would be entitled to a total of $30,000 ($20,000 plus $10,000 for the 50% penalty). In addition, if an attorney is able to secure this penalty on your behalf, the insurance company may be required to pay an attorney’s fee for the amount of time your attorney spent securing the penalty and interest on the amount of the award.
Penalties are very rarely paid voluntarily, so if your check is late, a lawyer will most likely be needed to enforce and collect a penalty. Also, benefit checks are often delayed by administrative problems, and our legal staff regularly helps clients with this type of problem.