When you have a financial obligation, like rent, mortgage, utilities, car payments, etc, can you just stop paying? Sure. And then you can be evicted, foreclosed on, cut off, or repoed. There are consequences for your failure to pay. But what happens when your workers comp payments stop? What are the consequences for the insurance company? Can they simply stop paying you?
Workers Comp: Helping You Bridge the Gap When You’re Injured at Work
Workers’ compensation is intended to be temporary. It is designed to compensate you for losses due to your accident – doctors visits, medication, diagnostic tests, specialists, physical therapy, lost wages – while you are unable to work. The goal is to get you back to work as soon as medically possible.
It is not intended to provide permanent disability benefits. Note: If, after your treatment is complete and you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI), your doctor will evaluate you. If you have lost function as a result of your injury, you can qualify for permanent disability benefits.
Why Were Your Workers Comp Benefits Cut Off?
Because workers’ compensation is a temporary measure by design, yes, the insurance company can stop payment. However, they must provide you 30 days notice before they do so, informing you that your benefits will stop and why. Some reasons:
- Your doctor determines you are able to return to work
- Your employer offers you light duty work that accommodates your health/physical condition
- A doctor determines you have reached MMI
- Your employer’s insurance carrier says your injury did not occur at work
- The insurance company’s doctor reports you had a pre-existing condition
What Can You Do?
First, call the insurance adjuster. Inquire why you have not received your workers comp benefits. It could be something simple – a federal holiday, a mailing delay, or an issue with the insurance company.
If there was some sort of error, keep a copy of the check and postmarked envelope. If an insurance company sends a late payment, they may have to pay “penalty benefits.”
You may be told you have reached MMI, can handle light duty work, or that a pre-existing condition makes you ineligible for benefits. If you believe this is inaccurate, do not hesitate to take the next step. Consider consulting an experienced workers compensation lawyer. If your benefits have been wrongly or erroneously stopped, contact the LaBovick Law Group. We can help.