It is not uncommon for Workers’ Compensation cases to be litigated before a ruling is made by the presiding Law Judge. The decision rendered by a Law Judge is usually a written ruling known as a Reserved Decision.
It is not uncommon for Reserved Decisions to be appealed by the losing party. When an insurance company receives an unfavorable decision awarding lost wage payments and decides to file an appeal, they may legally withhold payment of the award until the appeal is decided.
What this means is that even though a Law Judge may have ruled in your favor and awarded you lost wages payments, it may be many months before those payments are actually made. This is because the insurance company has 30 days from the date of the decision ruling against them to file an appeal. Once the appeal is filed it often takes several months before the Workers’ Compensation Board Review Bureau renders its ruling on the appeal.
During this time frame, the insurance carrier does not have to make payment in accordance with the decision. They are allowed to wait until the Workers’ Compensation Board rules on their appeal.
If the insurance company loses the appeal they are then liable to make payments in accordance with the decision. Even if they decide to appeal further, they cannot withhold payments.
If you have questions about any aspect of a New York State Workers’ Compensation claim, and reside in the Capital District area of New York, we will be happy to discuss your case with you.