If you have an injury at work which results in lost time or in a permanent injury, you are likely entitled to some form of weekly benefits from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Iowa law requires that when benefits are owed, they need to be timely paid. If an insurance carrier is complying with the law, benefit checks should be received on a weekly basis, and on the same day every week. Sometimes, insurance carriers issue checks every other week, which is only acceptable if they are paying one of the two weeks in advance. If you are receiving checks which are designated for compensation owed more than 7 days earlier, that check is likely late.
Despite the fact that injured workers frequently rely on these benefits as their only source of income while they are injured, insurance companies routinely pay benefits late, sporadically, or have unscheduled interruptions in payments. Insurance carriers can be subject to a monetary penalty for this kind of behavior. Sometimes, a dispute arises about when an insurance company says they sent a check and when the injured worker actually receives it. Because the postmark on the benefit check envelope often resolves any such dispute, it is important to keep all of the envelopes on anything an injured worker receives from their employer or its insurance company. This is true even if the check is mailed on time. If your weekly benefits were late, interrupted, or sent sporadically, you should consider contacting an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation cases to see if a claim seeking to penalize the insurance company is appropriate.