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Workers Comp Payment Schedule

Published June 17, 2024 by Matt Fendon Law Group | Workers' Compensation

One of the advantages of Arizona workers’ compensation is that it can restore a sense of certainty to your life when a work-related injury or employment-related medical condition keeps you from earning an income.

Workers’ comp benefits pay for your medical expenses to treat a work injury or illness. They can also pay you benefits to replace up to two-thirds of your income when you cannot work. Learn more about Arizona workers’ comp payment schedules, how benefits can be delayed in reaching you, and what you can do if a problem interferes with your payments.

Do You Need Help With a Workers Compensation Benefits Delay?

The workers’ compensation attorneys at the Matt Fendon Law Group are experienced with in Arizona workers’ comp procedures, including filing for benefits and solving problems with the Industrial Commission of Arizona or workers’ compensation insurance companies.

If you need assistance with any aspect of your workers’ compensation claim or receiving your workers’ compensation payments, call us at (800) 229-3880 to speak with one of our workers’ compensation injury lawyers.

How Long Does It Take to Send My First Arizona Workers’ Comp Settlement Payment?

There is no answer to how long it will take to receive your first workers’ compensation settlement check. Depending on your particular circumstances, settlement of your workers’ comp claims can take anywhere from three weeks to a year or longer.

Getting your workers’ comp check depends on several factors, such as when you file a workers’ comp claim. Also, settling your benefits claims can take longer if negotiations are contentious or legal issues must be resolved first. 

How Often Does Arizona Workers’ Compensation Pay Benefits?

To determine when your payments will begin, see our page on When Does Workman’s Comp Start Paying.

Here is how often you can expect to receive benefit payments based on their different types.

Benefit TypePayment Frequency
Temporary Total Disability PaymentsEvery 14 days
Temporary Partial Disability PaymentsEvery 30 days
Permanent Partial Disability PaymentsPaid monthly
Death BenefitsPaid Monthly

What Happens If My Benefits Payments Are Delayed?

Although workers’ compensation payments usually arrive without complications, events or circumstances you cannot control can affect their arrival date.

Here are some of the causes for workers’ compensation benefits delays that we have experienced when representing injured employees.

Potential causes of payment delays.

Clerical Errors

The people who work for employers and their insurance companies are not perfect and can make mistakes that can delay the processing and delivery of your check. For example, your check can be delayed waiting for a signature or getting caught up in processing delays.

Insurer Personnel Changes

Sometimes, the insurance adjuster who starts with your workers’ compensation benefits claim settlement will not be the one who finishes it. If this changeover happens while your settlement check is being processed, it could delay sending the check to you.

Changes to Your Personal Information

Insurance companies also have the ability to delay processing your settlement claim any time you change your personal information, like by moving to a new address or changing your name.

Postal Delays

The USPS is not immune from inefficiencies. Human error-based mistakes can delay your check delivery, regardless of what the workers’ compensation insurance company does.

What Can You Do if Your Workers Compensation Benefits Payments Are Behind Schedule?

If you believe that you should have already received benefits but they have not arrived, there are some actions to take to check on your benefit payment status.

Actions to take if payments are delayed.

Talk to the Insurance Claims Adjuster

The insurance company for your employer can provide information regarding the status of your processing and delivery and should be the first person you inquire with.

However, this line of inquiry may not be helpful if the insurer is using delaying tactics to slow down benefit payments. Regardless, checking with the insurance company is always a good idea.

Check With the Post Office

If the insurance claims adjuster claims the check is in the mail, the next step could be to contact the US Postal Service. If the check has been lost during delivery, the USPS can help locate it. If the check is lost, you can re-approach the insurance claims adjuster with that information and have the check reissued.

Also, if you have recently moved, it could be a good idea to ensure any mail-forwarding services you have with the USPS are still in effect. If they are not, you could follow up by checking with the new residents at your old address to see if your settlement check ended up there.

Check With Your Bank

It is common for workers’ comp settlement payments electronically deposited with direct deposit into your bank account. Checking with the bank to see if whether or not the payment was received.

Consult With an Arizona Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Unfortunately, not all workers’ compensation checks reach injured workers in a timely way. And if there’s a delay because the insurance company is working against you, your delay could be considered unfair.

Although most Arizona workers’ compensation insurers are on the level, a few can seek to take advantage of you to maximize their profits. Every day the insurer can delay your settlement check payment is another the insurer can collect interest on. Processing delays, delivery delays, procrastination tactics, and misleading communications from insurance companies are not always innocent in their intent.

Arizona Workers’ Compensation Laws Against Unfair Claim Processing Practices

Historically, the problem with insurance companies acting in bad faith during settlement negotiations and settlement payouts has been significant. Arizona now has laws and regulations that prohibit insurers from engaging in abusive behaviors that can delay your workers’ comp check or find a way to deny the claim.

The Arizona statute that prohibits insurance companies, including workers’ compensation insurance companies, from engaging in bad faith or unfair claim processing practices is A.R.S. 29-930.

Insurer Bad Faith

Arizona law sets forth six ways that bad faith on the part of an insurance company or your employer can happen. The two most relevant categories to how and when to receive your settlement check include:

  • Insurance company settlement practices must be well-grounded in fact and warranted by existing Arizona law. If they are not, this constitutes bad faith. This factual and legal support requirement applies equally to insurer arguments to change, extend, or reverse existing Arizona laws.
  • The insurance company must not unreasonably delay benefit payments

Unfair Claim Processing Practices

Under Arizona law, unfair claim insurance company processing practices most relevant to your settlement check delivery include:

  • Advising you not to consult with or retain the services of an attorney, or communicating directly to you if you have a lawyer to represent you.
  • Unreasonably failing to acknowledge communications from you or your workers’ compensation lawyer.
  • Unreasonably delaying action on communications it receives from you or your workers’ compensation attorney.

The Arizona Standard for Reasonable Behavior by Insurance Companies

What constitutes an unreasonable insurance company payment practice depends on three considerations:

  • Comparing the practice in question to Arizona workers’ compensation and insurance laws.
  • Recognized and approved claim processing practices within the insurance industry.
  • The experience of the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) in processing workers’ compensation claims.

Arizona Penalties for Bad Faith or Unfair Claim Processing Practices

The ICA has exclusive jurisdiction over workers’ compensation law claims of bad faith and unfair claim processes. The ICA can investigate if you make a written, signed complaint or investigate on its own initiative. In  some circumstances, a civil case can be filed for bad faith.

Statutory penalties for insurance companies that engage in bad faith or unfair claim processing practices include payment of a fine of $500 or 25% of workers’ compensation benefits due, whichever is more.

If the ICA decides that the insurer has a history or pattern of unfairness or bad faith, it can impose an additional civil penalty of up to $1,000 for each violation it finds.

If you’ve experienced acts of bad faith from insurance companies or cannot get an answer about delayed payments, it may be time to talk with one of our workers’ compensation lawyers at the Matt Fendon Law Group.

Having an experienced workers comp attorney on your side to prod the insurer to act on late payments can make the difference between a late and very late (or non-existent) payment.

Call the Matt Fendon Law Group Today

While there are several steps you can take on your own to track your workers’ comp check, there may be a time when you’ve exhausted all your attempts. A competent Arizona workers’ comp lawyer will apply the right amount of pressure in the right places to get that check into your hands as soon as possible.

As your advocate, we will stand between you and the insurance company, doing everything within our legal authority to fast-track that late payment. We know that every day matters when you’re waiting on a workers’ comp check, and will not hesitate to file a complaint with the ICA if the insurance company is dragging its feet.

An initial consultation with one of our quality Arizona workers’ comp lawyers is free. Call us today at (800) 229-3880 to schedule your free workers’ comp claim consultation appointment.

Do you prefer to communicate online instead? You can reach us here to make an appointment, or to ask a question to an experienced workers’ comp lawyer about our services.

Remember: your employer’s workers’ comp insurance provider is not your advocate. It has no stake in seeing that you receive the medical care or the Arizona workers’ compensation settlement payout that you need to get back to work and restore other parts of your life after a workplace injury.

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