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How Long Does It Take to Get Workers’ Comp in North Carolina?

Fri Jan 19th, by Workers Compensation |

The time that it takes to receive workers’ compensation benefits in North Carolina can vary based on several factors, including the nature of the injury, the specific circumstances of the case, the timeliness of reporting the injury, and the efficiency of the claims process. A Lexington workers’ compensation lawyer can provide current information on all legal issues connected to workers’ comp.

The workers’ compensation system can offer timely, vital support for many workers suffering from workplace injuries and illness. While the process of obtaining benefits may be streamlined in some cases, there are often complications that cause issues and delays. It is helpful to understand the process and know what steps to take first.

How long does it take to get workers comp in North Carolina?

Workers Compensation Timeline

It’s possible to receive benefits as soon as seven days in certain cases, but oftentimes, it takes a longer period of time. Many factors can influence the timeline involved in obtaining workers’ compensation benefits. Here are key considerations:

  • Reporting the Injury: It is crucial to report a work-related illness or injury promptly to your employer. In North Carolina, injured workers are required to report the injury to their employer within 30 days of the incident.
  • Employer’s Report and Filing a Claim: After the injury is reported, the employer is responsible for filing a First Report of Injury with the workers’ compensation insurance carrier and the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC). The injured worker or their representative may also need to file a claim with the NCIC.
  • Claim Processing: The workers’ compensation insurance carrier and the NCIC will then consider the claim, which involves evaluating the medical evidence provided, determining the extent of the injury, and assessing the eligibility for benefits. The time it takes to process a claim can vary.
  • Initial Medical Treatment: Injured workers are entitled to receive initial medical treatment promptly. Workers’ compensation insurance should cover all necessary medical expenses from the outset.
  • Temporary Total Disability (TTD) Benefits: If the injury results in a temporary inability to work, the injured worker can be eligible for Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits. The processing time for TTD benefits can depend on the circumstances of the case and the determination of the extent of the disability.
  • Resolution of Disputes: In some cases, disputes can arise regarding the eligibility for benefits or the extent of the injury. Resolving disputes can extend the time it takes for an injured worker to receive full compensation.

It is vital that injured workers stay informed on the process of their workers’ compensation claim and communicate openly with their employer, insurance carrier, and the North Carolina Industrial Commission. In many cases, seeking legal representation can be advisable, especially in the case of disputes or challenges in the claims process.

Workers’ Compensation Explained

Workers’ compensation functions as an insurance mechanism designed to offer medical benefits and wage replacement to employees who suffer from illness or injuries directly related to their employment. The primary hope of this insurance is to ensure that employees receive compensation for their medical costs and lost wages resulting from workplace injuries, regardless of fault.

Employers bear the responsibility of covering expenses associated with workers’ compensation. In exchange for these benefits, employees will typically relinquish their right to file a claim against their employer for negligence. The benefits received through this insurance serve as compensation, negating the need to establish fault to access these benefits.

The fundamental components of workers’ compensation primarily include medical and wage replacement benefits. These benefits cover the costs associated with medical treatment and rehabilitation for work-related illnesses or injuries. Costs can include doctor visits, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and more. Wage replacement provides a percentage of the employee’s average weekly wage with the aim of offsetting the missed income.

In general, the duration of workers’ comp benefits is in direct correlation with the severity of the injury or illness. In the unfortunate instance of work-related fatalities, workers’ compensation can provide death benefits to the dependents of the deceased worker. These benefits are aimed to lessen the financial burden on the individual, the individual’s family, and their support network.


Q: When Can I Begin Receiving Workers’ Comp Benefits in NC?

A: Generally, if all of the steps of the process are pursued promptly, an employee can start receiving benefits seven full days after the incident that leads to injury. The timeline of workers’ compensation is unique to each instance, as there are several moving pieces, including the swift reaction time of both the employer and employee, as well as the claims process. The date on which an employee will receive their financial compensation is dependent on each case.

Q: What Is the Waiting Period for Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina?

A: The waiting period for workers’ compensation benefits in North Carolina is generally called the “waiting week.” During the waiting week, typically the first seven calendar days of disability, the injured worker is temporarily disabled but does not receive compensation for lost wages and is not eligible to receive Temporary Total Disability (TTD). If the disability extends beyond the waiting week, TTD benefits can begin on the eighth day.

Q: How Long Do Most Workers’ Comp Settlements Take?

A: The duration of workers’ compensation settlements can vary widely, as it is influenced by various factors. These factors include the level of complexity in the case, the nature of the injury, the willingness of both parties to negotiate, and the legal and administrative processes involved. There is no fixed timeframe for workers’ compensation settlements; however, most cases are settled within six months.

Q: Who Needs Workers’ Compensation Insurance in NC?

A: In North Carolina, employers are responsible for providing workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. The state has laws that require the majority of employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance that offers protection for employees in case of work-related illness or injury.

Contact M. Reid Acree, Jr., Attorney at Law

If you are navigating a workers’ compensation issue in the state of North Carolina, reach out to M. Reid Acree, Jr., Attorney at Law, today. Our Lexington workers’ compensation lawyer can assist you in understanding your rights and explaining local laws and regulations.