You are entitled to lost wages if you are out of work for more than 7 days. While the Workers’ Compensation system provides for lost wages due to a work-related injury or illness, it often takes a few weeks for you to receive your first check. This is because you must provide the Insurance Carrier with the proper documentation before they will issue payment. The Insurance Carrier must have a medical report signed by a doctor giving a history of the work injury and a statement taking you out of work. It is always best if your doctor provides you with a degree of temporary impairment, expressed as a percentage, or at a minimum, work restrictions, if any. Often times, these reports take several days to be generated, so we recommend obtaining a note from your doctor when you leave your appointment indicating that your injury is the result of a work accident or illness and your degree of impairment and/or work ability.
Once the Carrier receives a medical report and notification of your injury, they must begin payment within 18 days or, if the Carrier is disputing the claim, they must notify the Workers’ Compensation Board of the basis for the dispute.
As you can see, it can often take several weeks to be paid. Many injured workers use their sick time or accruals during this period. If this is the case, and you are later awarded Workers’ Compensation benefits during this period, your employer will likely be reimbursed for wages paid and your accruals will be restored.
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