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What to Do if You Haven’t Received Your Workers’ Comp Check Yet

On Behalf of Christian Ayers
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An injury at work can be a life-changing experience for the victim, and it is natural for any injured worker to have many pressing legal questions with respect to their recovery options. In North Carolina, workers’ compensation insurance is a requirement for almost every employer in the state, and while the claim filing process might appear straightforward, there are many unexpected issues that might arise with your impending claim.

What to do if you haven't received your workers comp check yet?

Filing Your Workers’ Compensation Claim

An experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney is an invaluable asset for the complex proceedings ahead of you. Filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits after any injury on the job is similar to the process of filing any other insurance claim, but you face the added complexity of your employer’s involvement in the claim filing process. You could also encounter problems with their insurance carrier.

Report Any Injuries and Get Claim-Filing Materials Right Away

You should report your injury right away so you can obtain the materials you need to file your claim. Workers’ compensation insurance carriers are required to deliver a determination of benefits within 21 days of the claim’s filing. The insurance company starts with a settlement check for the first seven days that the claimant was unable to work due to their injury, and they will provide details for the medical expense coverage they provide.

Medical Evaluation by Designated Doctor Is Part of Every Claim

As part of the claim filing process, you will likely need to undergo a medical evaluation to determine your level of disability from your injury. The higher your disability rating, the more you can receive in benefits. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can guide you through the preliminary steps you must complete to file your claim, help you with the filing, and be ready to address any unexpected complications you encounter.

How to Resolve Late Payment of Workers’ Compensation Benefits

If 21 days have passed since you filed your workers’ compensation claim and you still have not received a settlement check, your workers’ compensation lawyer can provide guidance and support as you attempt to resolve the issue. You are entitled not only to your benefits but also to receive a late payment penalty. Having an attorney’s help can make collecting your late benefits and associated penalties as quickly as possible.

Under state law, as soon as an insurance company is 14 days late in remitting payment of workers’ compensation benefits, the claimant is entitled to receive a 10% late payment penalty. Securing this penalty payment will require filing a complaint with the North Carolina Industrial Commission, and your attorney can help you file this complaint.

If you believe an insurance company has handled your claim in bad faith beyond their lateness with your payment, your workers’ compensation attorney can help resolve this problem as well. The North Carolina Industrial Commission is likely to get involved, and the insurance company may not only owe you your benefits but also additional damages to reflect any actions taken in bad faith.

The attorneys at Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler regularly help clients with their workers’ compensation claims, and unfortunately many injured workers face unfair delays when they are expecting their benefits. Hiring an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at the outset of your claim is one of the most effective ways to minimize your risk of encountering such behavior.


Q: How Long Does It Take to Get a Workers’ Compensation Settlement Check?

A: Generally, most workers’ compensation claims will begin receiving their benefits 21 days after they have been injured, beginning with compensation for the first seven days of work they missed due to their injury. If you are waiting beyond this period, your workers’ compensation attorney can contact your employer’s insurance company for you to investigate the delay.

Q: What Is the Workers’ Compensation Rate for 2023?

A: When you receive disability benefits as part of your workers’ compensation settlement, you can generally expect about two-thirds of your average weekly wages each week in a total disability benefits determination. However, there is a cap on weekly benefits that adjusts each year to account for inflation. In 2023, the maximum weekly benefits a claimant can receive is $1,254.

Q: How Long Does Workers’ Compensation Last?

A: Workers’ compensation benefits can continue until you are able to return to work at your previous earning capacity. If you receive total disability benefits, these may transition to partial disability benefits if you recover enough to assume light duty, which does not earn as much as your previous job. For most claimants, disability benefits can continue for up to 500 weeks, but some claimants can qualify for extensions if they have suffered catastrophic injuries.

Q: Why Should I Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?

A: While not legally required, hiring an attorney to help with your claim can significantly improve your chances of success, and you will be more likely to maximize your benefits with their help as well. Your attorney can assist you with filing your claim, resolving any issues you encounter with your employer and/or their insurance carrier, and helping you maximize your benefits.

Q: How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?

A: The team at Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler does not charge upfront or ongoing attorneys’ fees for representation in workers’ compensation cases. We take workers’ compensation claims on a contingency fee basis, which means our client only pays a fee to our firm after we have won compensation on their behalf. If we cannot obtain a recovery for you, there is no fee at all.

The workers’ compensation claim filing process could be more challenging than you expect at first, but the right North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney on your side can streamline your claim filing process and help you recover the benefits you’re legally owed. Contact Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler today to schedule a free consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer you can trust with your case.