After you’ve sustained a serious work injury, it can be incredibly difficult to wait on your workers’ compensation benefits. Once your claim has been approved, it should only take 14 days to receive your first check, starting from the date your employer notified them of the injury. However, if it takes longer than that, or if your claim was denied outright, then you may need to seek the assistance of a qualified attorney.
At Van Dingenen Law, we’re on the side of workers — never the insurance companies. As seasoned workers’ compensation lawyers serving clients throughout Orlando, we can review the details of your claim and help you speed up the process if needed. You are legally entitled to receive your benefits promptly, and if your employer or the insurance company refuses to cooperate, we can help you push forward with confidence on your claim.
Timeline for Receiving Workers’ Comp Benefits
Because Florida workers’ compensation laws hold insurers to strict guidelines for making a decision, they are required to decide on your claim within 14 days. Failing to do so will make them subject to fines and penalties, which motivates most insurers to decide in an efficient manner. However, like other insurance companies, workers’ compensation insurers are often reluctant to pay out benefits, which means that most workers’ compensation claims will be denied at first.
If your claim has been denied or delayed, here are the next steps you should consider taking:
- Negotiating with the insurer. Before starting the appeals process, you should try to informally negotiate with the insurer first, especially if there has simply been a delay in the process. It’s strongly recommended that you hire an attorney to negotiate on your behalf, as this often leads to better results.
- Filing an appeal. If the insurer refuses to change their decision or expedite your benefits, you may need to file a Petition for Benefits with the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims (OJCC). This organization is responsible for handling workers’ comp appeals, and they can make a decision on your behalf. The deadline for filing an appeal is 2 years from your date of injury.
- Go through the appeals process. As soon as the OJCC makes a decision, your employer and the insurer will be notified, and required to either respond or pay your benefits within 14 days. If the insurer continues to contest your claim, you will need to attend a mediation hearing that will be scheduled within 130 days of your petition.
Do you need assistance with a workers’ compensation claim in Central Florida? Contact Van Dingenen Law at (407) 967-5377 today for a free consultation!