Lost Wages Time Loss Checks Late in a Workers' Compensation Claim
What Should You Do When Your Lost Wages Checks are Late?When you are injured at work and have work restrictions, the workers' compensation insurer must pay your lost wages. This is also called time loss or temporary disability. The insurer must issue your first check within 14 days of receiving your work restrictions. The checks should then continue issuing every 14 days until you are back to work.
If your lost wages checks are late you will want to retain a workers' compensation attorney to assist in getting you a penalty. It costs nothing to hire a workers' compensation attorney in Oregon. If you are owed a penalty for late payment of lost wages or time loss checks, the attorney's fee will not come out of your benefits. The insurer will have to pay you a penalty and your attorney a fee separately.
Can you get a penalty for late payment of lost wages checks?Yes! The insurer will owe a penalty of up to 25 percent of late or unpaid lost wages or time loss. This can really add up if you are getting your checks even one or two days late.
In order to get the penalty, you will need a workers' compensation attorney to file a Request for Hearing with the Workers' Compensation Board of Oregon. The attorney will then try to get you the full amount owed and a penalty on any of your lost wages that were paid late.
If you have any questions about payment of lost wages in your workers' compensation claim, feel free to contact me directly at 503-975-5535.
How much should your lost wages be?Your lost wages should be two thirds of your average weekly wage (pre-tax). The lost wages are also not taxable. Overtime should be included in calculating your average weekly wage as long as you regularly work overtime.
If you are working light duty and it is for less than your normal amount of hours, or for less per hour, you will also be entitled to payment of lost wages or time loss from the insurer to make up the difference.
Lost Wages for Workers' CompensationThere are a few other things to remember with lost wages in an Oregon workers' compensation case. Your work restrictions must be provided by your attending physician and must be updated every 30 days. This means you need to actually see your attending physician once a month for updated work restrictions or a work release. Also, the attending physician must be a medical doctor (as opposing to a chiropractor or nurse practitioner). A chiropractor can be the attending physician for a brief period at the start of a claim but you should switch to a medical doctor as soon as possible.
Finally, it is your responsibility to provide your work restrictions to your employer or to the insurer. Sometimes your doctor's office will fax them in, but you will want to make sure they are received.
More questions? We are a Portland workers' compensation attorney offering free phone or office consultations. 503-975-5535