Now that your workers’ compensation case, or part of your claim, has been resolved by both sides voluntarily agreeing to certain terms the next step is to request a hearing before a workers’ compensation judge. The workers’ compensation judge needs to approve any workers’ compensation settlement which is referred to as a Compromise & Release. In order to receive the judge’s approval, you will need to appear at a hearing where the judge will review the Compromise & Release. Then your attorney and your employer’s attorney will ask questions to ensure that you understand the agreement. If the workers’ compensation judge approves the Compromise & Release, then he or she will issue an Order approving it.
Once the Order is issued, then the employer, or more likely their insurer, has a maximum of thirty days to make the settlement payment that was agreed upon in the Compromise & Release. You will have the right to appeal the workers’ compensation judge’s Order for twenty days after it is signed, so most insurers will not issue a settlement check until after that twenty day period has passed. However, if you sign a waiver of appeal, the insurer may be willing to issue your settlement check sooner.
If your employer, or its insurer, fails to issue the settlement check within thirty days, of the Judge’s order, then you can file a Penalty Petition. If the Penalty Petition is granted, the workers’ compensation judge may award additional money for the late settlement payment.