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How Long Does It Take To Receive Your Workers' Compensation Benefits?

Last updated: April 9, 2023

Generally, it takes approximately 14 to 21 days to receive workers’ compensation benefits after filing a claim to the insurance provider. However, there are certain specifics to keep in mind, including the state where you reside, your case’s circumstances, your injuries’ severity, and overall medical treatment costs.

Additionally, your workers’ comp benefits, such as compensation for medical expenses, wage replacement benefits, and temporary or permanent disability benefits, depending on the nature and extent of your work-related injuries.

If you want to learn more about the time it usually takes for your workers’ comp check to come in, continue reading this article.

How To File A Workers’ Compensation Claim

How To File A Workers’ Compensation Claim

Each state has a different process and timeframe for filing a workers' compensation claim. The U.S. Department of Labor offers details on how to get in touch with the workers' compensation office in each state and submit a claim.

A report detailing what happened, your medical history, and the names of any witnesses to the incident must be submitted. To evaluate the seriousness of your injuries, you may also need to undergo one or more independent medical examinations.

You must follow the rules set forth by your state. Failure to do so may result in your ineligibility to receive the workers’ comp benefits you are entitled to. Learn more about the filing process for workers’ comp claims in this guide. 

How Your Claim Will Be Evaluated

Typically, businesses purchase their workers' compensation coverage from an insurance provider, but occasionally, they self-insure or get it from the federal government. When you submit a workers' compensation claim, it will be assessed by either your company’s insurance provider, your self-insured employer, or the state workers' compensation agency.

A claims administrator will ask questions about what transpired and review the accident report, your medical history, and any findings from an independent medical assessment. Managers or co-workers who saw the accident may also be questioned by the claims administrator. 

State legislation may stipulate a timeframe for your claim to be approved or rejected. If a claim is not denied within the timeframe required by law, it may be considered approved in some states. At this point, the injured employee is entitled to benefits unless the insurer discovers new information later that may alter the decision.

How Long Claims Investigations Take

Generally, to be eligible for workers' compensation benefits, you must report your injury or illness to your employer within a specific period of time. In some states, however, benefits cannot be collected until the injured employee files a workers' compensation claim with the state agency. Keep in mind that the claim regulations vary per state. You could lose some or all of your benefits if you don't follow the right procedure.

The insurance company or those responsible for your coverage will look into your claim after it has been filed. Typically, the claims administrator will talk with you and your employer and go over your medical records, accident reports, and other paperwork. You should also abide by reasonable requests for information and documentation from the insurance company. However, if you have uncertainties about the claims investigation, you may hire a workers’ compensation lawyer to assist you. 

In most states, the employer or insurance company must determine whether you are qualified for workers' compensation payments as soon as possible or within a reasonable timeframe. Some states also have strict deadlines — often between 14 and 30 days — for granting or rejecting a claim. In some states, the insurance provider may request an extension in order to conduct further investigation if necessary.

When the insurance provider fails to decide within a specific deadline, they may have to pay a fine. It is also best to remember that in some states, your claim may be automatically considered approved if you don't receive a decision in time. 

How Long It Takes To Receive A Workers’ Compensation Check

How Long It Takes To Receive A Workers’ Compensation Check

The good thing about claiming workers' compensation benefits is that not all of them require a waiting period; some are available immediately. Most states have laws that require employers to pay your medical expenses before your claim is either accepted or rejected, regardless of how long it takes for workers' compensation payments to be given to you.

As mentioned, eligibility will be determined by a designated third party (usually a claims administrator). Additionally, the amount you will receive from your workers’ compensation depends on the severity of your injuries and their impact on your ability to make a living. 

Do I Receive Medical Benefits Immediately

Injured employees immediately receive medical benefits, even without a decision regarding their workers’ comp claims. 

Your self-insured employer, your company’s insurance provider, or the state government (if the state is the insurer) will pay for all the medical expenses you incurred for your work-related injury. You will receive your medical coverage under workers’ compensation benefits when you are injured at work and need treatment. On the same note, you do not need to file a workers’ compensation claim before you receive medical treatment. 

Most states require employers to cover your medical expenses whether or not your workers' compensation claim was approved. In this instance, even if your application is denied in the future, you will never be held responsible for those medical expenses.

How To Receive Your Medical Benefits

Make an appointment with a doctor and contact your employer immediately if you think you were injured at work. Your doctor can then evaluate your injury and document everything.

If you are receiving medical bills for your medical treatment and have not yet applied for workers' compensation benefits, you must begin by completing an injury report. Your employer will then file a workers' compensation claim on your behalf after receiving this report from you. However, keep in mind that you won’t have to spend a single penny on your treatment.

When Do Non-Medical Workers’ Compensation Benefits Start

Your workers' compensation benefits should be provided as soon as your claim is accepted. Insurance companies have 21 days from the date of injury to investigate workers’ compensation claims. If your claim is approved, your first disability benefits and compensation checks should be issued right away. However, keep in mind that before receiving your first workers’ comp payments, you will receive a written notice that details whether your claim is accepted or denied. 

While your claim is still being investigated, you may still receive some non-medical workers’ compensation benefits. Generally, there are three ways:

  • Notice of Compensation Payable. If you received this, it means that you will only acquire wage replacement benefits and full medical coverage if a doctor recommends that you stay out of work entirely. 
  • Medical Only Notice Of Compensation Payable. This means you will only receive medical benefits because you can still work while receiving treatment.
  • Temporary Notice Of Compensation Payable. This means that your company’s insurance provider will provide all benefits, but they can change their decision within the first 90 days after your injury. 

Do I Receive Workers’ Compensation Payments Each Week

Under the Workers' Compensation Act, employers in all states are required to pay workers’ compensation benefits in the same way they pay their employees’ wages. If you are paid weekly, you should receive your workers' compensation check on a weekly basis. If your salary comes at the end of every month, expect to receive the payments at the end of every month.

If you notice that you are only receiving partial workers' compensation checks, you should keep track of your paystubs to ensure that you are receiving the benefits and compensation that you are entitled to from the insurance provider. You may also choose to hire a workers’ compensation attorney to help you ensure that you are receiving what you deserve. 

If you are eligible for workers’ compensation, find out the 4 types of workers’ comp benefits you are entitled to receive in this article by Disability Help.

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Cheri Hermanson
Cheri leads our team of writers in producing the best quality content there is regarding society and disability, most especially those that helps ease the quality of life for our differently-abled loved ones.
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