2018 Pay Lag Report

Workers’ Compensation Agency releases its 2018 Pay Lag Report showing how long it takes for the first weekly check to arrive.

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Getting hurt on the-the-job can be a financial nightmare. This is especially true for employees living paycheck-to-paycheck who find out they cannot work. Workers’ compensation is designed as a safety-net to prevent financial disaster. The amount paid for lost wages is supposed to equal 80% of an employee’s after-tax average weekly wage.

Our clients always want to know when they can expect their first weekly check under workers’ compensation. We explain that wage loss benefits are not owed until they have been disabled for at least 7 consecutive days. Payment is supposed to be made on the 14th day. Future checks should be sent on a weekly basis.

Supporting a family on less income can be a hardship. Unfortunately, insurance companies look for any dumb reason to lower benefits even more. The weekly rate is supposed to be based upon actual wage records from an employer and not an estimate. Overtime and discontinued fringe benefits should always be included in this calculation. Watch out for insurance companies who say weekly checks will automatically be reduced based upon wage earning capacity.

The Workers’ Compensation Agency has now released its 2018 Pay Lag Report. It shows how long group funds, self-insureds, and insurance carriers take to send the first weekly check. This report only covers claims where an initial Form 701 was submitted from 1/1/18 through 12/31/18. Only voluntary payment claims were included.

We thought it would be helpful to point out some key statistics from the report. This gives an idea about when the first weekly check is typically sent out. Our experience show that poor claims handling is the number one reason checks do not arrive on time.

Statistics show group funds took an average of 19 days to start payment and 6.9% of claims were not paid until after 31 days. Self-insureds took an average of 17 days and 4.9% of claims were not paid until after 31 days. Insurance carriers took an average of 18 days and 8.9% of claims were not paid until after 31 days. Some entities took double the amount of time required under Michigan law.

Here are some of the larger insurance carriers and how long it took for payment to be sent. Accident Fund Insurance Co of America took an average of 16 days. American Zurich Insurance Company took an average of 16 days. Amerisure Mutual Insurance Company took an average of 14 days. Hartford Accident & Indemnity Company took an average of 15 days. Hastings Mutual Insurance Company took an average of 21 days. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company took an average of 15 days. Travelers Indemnity Company took an average of 17 days. Zurich-American insurance company took an average of 18 days.

Make sure to contact an experienced attorney if lost wages are not promptly paid or disputed. It is possible to seek penalties of $50 per day up to a maximum of $1,500 for late payment.

Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 316-8033 for a free consultation today.

Related information:

Maximum weekly comp rate for 2019

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