What can I do if they are late in paying my workers’ comp wage benefit?

If you are entitled to workers’ comp wage benefits, the insurance carrier is obliged to pay you within 14 days of the date the last payment was due.  If they do not, they may have to pay you an additional 20% penalty assessed on the amount due.

Virginia Code §65.2-524 says:

“Failure to pay compensation within two weeks after it becomes

due. If any payment is not paid within two weeks after it becomes

due, there shall be added to such unpaid compensation an amount

equal to twenty percent thereof, unless the Commission finds that

any required payment had been made as promptly as practicable

and (i) there is good cause outside the control of the employer for

the delay or (ii) in the case of a self-insured employer, the

employer has issued the required payment to the employee as part

of the next regular payroll after the payment becomes due. No

such penalty shall be added, however, to any payment made within

two weeks after the expiration of (i) the period in which

Commission review may be requested pursuant to § 65.2-705 or

(ii) the period in which a notice of appeal may be filed pursuant to

65.2-706. No penalty shall be assessed against the

Commonwealth when the Commonwealth has issued a regular

payroll check to the employee in lieu of compensation covering the

period of disability.  As used in this section, a regular payroll payment issued by the Commonwealth includes payments issued net of

deductions for elected and mandatory benefits and other standard deductions”

This means that your check is paid “on-time” when payment is mailed directly to you at your current residential address within two weeks after it becomes due.  They must be aware of your current residential address.  If you move without giving proper notice of your new address, they will not be penalized. Payment is not due until the last day of the week that it is due.  You then add 14 days to that date to calculate the period in which the carrier can mail payment to you.

An example might help:

Injured worker’s disability payment of $400 is due on Friday, December 6.  On that day, his/her check does not arrive.  If the carrier mails his check to his current residential address on Friday, December 20, the carrier will not have to pay a 20% penalty.  If the carrier mails the check on December 21 or later, they will have to pay a 20% penalty unless they can establish good cause outside their control for the delay, or one of the other reasons listed in §65.2-524.


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