Workers’ compensation benefits exist to help employees who are injured or fall ill on the job. The system offers medical benefits to help them receive the proper care and wage replacement to ensure their financial stability during the time they are forced to miss work. For many injured workers and their families, this compensation is vital. Without it, employees may not recover from their injuries and can fall into serious financial hardship as bills mount without being paid. The state of Iowa recognizes the importance of workers’ compensation and requires that employers or their insurance companies deliver prompt, correct payments.
Penalties for Late Workers’ Compensation Payments in Iowa
As long as the injured worker has fulfilled his duty in reporting the injury and filing for benefits, insurers must begin payments beginning on the 11th day after the injury. According to the state Guide to Workers’ Compensation, the law is written to promote prompt payment and to help the injured worker avoid any additional hardship. As a result, there are specific penalties for late payments. These include:
- Ten percent interest on any late payment. Regardless of the reason for the delay, the insurer or employer must pay 10 percent interest on the amount of any late payment.
- Up to 50 percent of the late payment. A fine of up to 50 percent of the past-due amount can be assessed for an unreasonable delay. This means that if a worker was waiting on a $500 check, the insurer would have to pay $500 plus 50 percent, or $250, for a total of $750.
- Penalties of $10 multiplied by the average number of days of delay. For companies who habitually delay payments to injured worker, a further fine can be imposed. The state will determine the average number of days an insurer has been late with previous payments and multiply by 10 to determine the amount of the fine.
Additionally, an insurer or employer cannot terminate workers’ compensation payment without notifying the injured worker and stating the reason for termination. If the employee has not returned to work at that time, they may be able to file a claim with the workers’ compensation commissioner.
If your workers’ compensation benefits are consistently late, or you feel they have been unfairly terminated, the experienced attorneys at the Pothitakis Law Firm may be able to help. Our skilled legal team understands how to track down these important payments and how to help you learn more about your rights. Call us today at 1-888-329-0243 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case.