When collecting benefits from the workers’ compensation program, it is often not the employing company that dispenses funds to the injured employee, but rather it is that company’s insurance carrier. Due to this fact, there can be some confusion about how payments are established, dispensed, and if they can or cannot be modified once they have begun. Understanding this, and your rights as an injured employee collecting workers’ compensation is key to avoid being taken advantage of by a large insurance company.
The simple rule for if an insurance carrier can suspend or modify workers’ comp payments is that is depends on what is written in the contract. When you agree to collect workers’ comp benefits, there is paperwork that is signed that outlines how payments will be dispensed and the conditions that may apply. It is important to always review this documentation before signing anything and often reviewing it with a lawyer is a good idea.
For the most part, however, an insurance carrier can not suspend payments once they have been agreed upon. There are circumstances where they can be decreased however and that tends to depend on other statistical information, such as cost of living in an area and the scope of the risk and salary in one’s profession. Generally however, these are not legitimate reasons to lower workers’ comp payments and should only really apply to the companies, not the injured individuals.
If you suspect you are being taken advantage of by your company’s insurance carrier or if they have ceased or lowered workers’ comp payments, it is always advised that you consult with an attorney to see what your options are and which are the best to take. To learn about how we at the Franco Firm can serve you in this role, and to schedule a free consultation with us, please call us any time at (813) 872-0929.