A Primer on Penalties
In recent months, the Board has stepped up penalty efforts against carriers. The good news is that they are often avoidable for the vigilant claims handler.
The following general rules should help to avoid penalties:
- Issue payments within ten days of any decisions (preferably much sooner to account for a possible address/delivery issues)
- In an uncontroverted case where the claimant is out of work, commence compensation payments within 18 days after the disability started, or within 10 days after the employer first had knowledge of the alleged accident, whichever period is greater.
- Issue payment of an installment of compensation within 25 days of the last day of the pay period (within 25 days of the last day of the first week for bi-weekly payments).
- Recoup an overpayment only in the manner and method prescribed by the Board.
- Pay only the conceded awards while an Application for Board Review is pending, but pay all awards within 10 days of the Memorandum of Board Panel Decision, even when an Application for Full Board Review or an appeal to the Appellate Division is being filed.
- Consult with defense counsel to determine whether you have a good faith basis to appeal.
- Comply promptly with all notices from the Board regarding form filing (EC-84, EC-16.1, EC-1.1, EC-23, etc.).
- Raise timely legal or valuation objections to medical bills.
- Object to penalties and/or awards from HP-2s, if appropriate.