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Why am I only receiving $150?

Monday, April 15, 2019

$150 per week is the minimum cash benefit payable to injured workers while they are either out of work or working at a reduced salary because of their work-related injury. In the very beginning stages of a claim, the insurance company will very commonly pay benefits at this minimum rate on a temporary basis until they receive accurate payroll information from the employer. However, if the employer is not quick to respond to the request for payroll records, the injured worker could go on for quite some time getting paid at this minimal amount. This, of course, can be financially devastating, especially to a high wage earner who would be entitled to a much higher weekly benefit. One way to deal with this problem is to send a copy of the injured worker’s most recent paystub and W-2 to the insurance company, with copies to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board. If handled properly, it might result in an increase in the weekly rate.

Another reason why an injured worker may only be receiving $150 per week could be due to an examination by an “Independent Medical Examiner”. An Independent Medical Examiner, or IME, is a doctor selected by the insurance company to medically evaluate the injured worker. If the IME concludes that the injured worker has a partial disability or no disability, then the insurance company will reduce or stop weekly payments. Depending upon what the IME says, the insurance company might find it appropriate to reduce the weekly payment to $150 per week, even if the injured worker’s doctor feels that he or she is unable to return to work because of his or her injuries. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, you should contact the Workers’ Compensation Board and request an immediate hearing.

You might also be receiving $150 per week temporarily until various issues are resolved. Very often benefits will be paid at this rate while you are given time to collect certain medical records or, in the case where you have returned to work, proof of your earnings. It might also be appropriate to be paid at this rate if you are in the process of negotiating a settlement with the insurance company.

Lastly, you may only be receiving $150 per week if it is the result of a decision made by a Judge or an Appeals Panel at the Workers’ Compensation Board.

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