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No Notice of Compensation Payable, No Protection Under Workers’ Compensation

March 15th, 2018

By Marianne H. Saylor

No Notice of Compensation Payable, No Protection Under Workers’ CompensationIf you get injured at work, your injury is not legally covered under workers’ compensation unless you receive a Notice of Compensation Payable.

Injured workers are required to report an injury to their employer within 120 days after the injury. It is best to report the injury as soon as a worker is injured. Once the injury is reported, the employer is obligated to report that injury to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Typically, the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company is responsible for reporting the injury. The insurance company then has 21 days to decide whether they will agree to cover the injury under workers’ compensation. If they agree to cover the injury, the injured worker should receive a document entitled Notice of Compensation Payable (NCP). If coverage for the injury is being denied, the injured worker will receive a Notice of Compensation Denial (NCD). In some cases, the insurance company will issue a provisional acceptance of the injury by issuing a Notice of Temporary Compensation Payable (TNCP).

Even though the law requires that an employer or insurance company issue an NCP or NCD, it is not uncommon for employers and insurance companies to do nothing when the injured employee has not missed time from work. This typically happens when an employee is released by the workers’ compensation doctor to work in a modified duty capacity. The employee is still being treated for the injury but is working. Even though the employee is not missing time from work, the employer and insurance company are still required, under the law, to issue an NCP or NCD.  Nevertheless, since there is no penalty for failing to issue these documents, many employers and insurance companies do not follow the law. This practice leaves injured workers without the protection of the Workers’ Compensation Act.

If an injured worker does not receive a Notice of Compensation Payable, his or her injury is not covered under workers’ compensation. Employers and insurance companies know that injured workers are unaware that their claim has not been accepted. They count on this lack of knowledge to avoid accepting responsibility for injuries. Employers and insurance companies will often pay for injury-related medical expenses. However, payment of medical expenses is not the legal equivalent of issuing a Notice of Compensation Payable. In fact, the law specifically indicates that even though an employer has paid for injury-related medical expenses, payment of those expenses does not create legal responsibility to pay for the work injury.

If you get hurt at work, demand that your employer or the insurance carrier issue a Notice of Compensation Payable acknowledging that your injury is covered under workers’ compensation. Without that document, you have no legal protection for your injury.

For assistance with your workers’ compensation case, contact Willig, Williams & Davidson at 215-656-3600.

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