What Happens if my Weekly Wage Benefit Check is Late Under Georgia Workers' Compensation Law?
I understand how important it is that you receive your weekly temporary total disability benefits on time. If you are like many of my clients, when you lose your regular paycheck and you are depending on workers' compensation, you may be living week to week and you may face significant and dire consequences when your checks are late. Here is what you need to know about late payments, the penalties that the insurance company must pay and what you can do to force the insurance company to issue your check.
Assuming that your claim has been accepted and you are not currently working, your employer's insurance company must pay your weekly benefit checks on time.
Your first weekly benefit check must be mailed on day 21 after the accident if that check is mailed within Georgia, and it must mailed on the 18th day after the accident if it is mailed from an address outside the state of Georgia. The day of the accident does not count when calculating dates.
Subsequent checks mailed from within Georgia must be postmarked as of the last day of the week (i.e. Saturday) in order for payment to be considered timely.
Subsequent checks mailed from outside of Georgia must be postmarked by the Thursday of the week it is due in order for the payment to be considered timely.
Checks Not Mailed on Time
If your check is not mailed on time, one of two late penalties apply. If you are receiving weekly benefits because an administrative law judge at the State Board of Workers’ Compensation ordered the insurance company to pay you benefits, then you are entitled to a 20% late penalty on all benefits that are not timely mailed. This means the insurance company must pay your full weekly benefit plus an additional 20%.
If you are receiving weekly benefits because the insurance company voluntarily started paying you, without an order from the Board, then you are entitled to a late penalty of 15% on all benefits that are not timely paid. These penalties are automatic and an order from the Board is not necessary for them to be paid.