How Often Should I Receive My Workers’ Compensation Check?

An anthropomorphic workers' comp check hiding behind a tree.

Here’s a question that comes up far too often: where is my workers’ comp check? Injured workers can get frustrated because their checks are either not issued regularly, or the insurer isn’t clear about when they’re sending it – or why they aren’t.

“Where is my workers’ compensation check?” is a question with a few answers. “How often should I receive my workers’ compensation check?” has just one.

How Often Does My Workers’ Compensation Check Come and What Are the Rules?

Illustration of three calendar dates running wild.

In North Carolina, workers’ compensation wage benefits should be issued on a weekly basis according to the workers’ comp check rules. Note that the benefits can begin after seven continuous days of missed work. Also, “weekly” means sometime between Monday and Friday.

Insurers have the option of putting your workers’ comp check on autopay, where it is delivered regularly and reliably. They don’t always like doing it that way, though. The insurer doesn’t want to overpay you, so they sometimes continue to cut a check each week. It can be a problem because one week, they send the check on Monday and the next week, they may send it Friday.

Injured workers can go almost two weeks between checks in these situations, which may strain their finances.

Can I Get My Workers’ Compensation Check on a Different Schedule?

You can try, but the insurance carrier isn’t likely to agree on a different schedule. What most injured workers really want is to get checks faster or more regularly. Some carriers may offer direct deposit, which cuts down on delays. It’s probably something you’ll have to request, and you attorney can do that on your behalf.
An injured person with a crutch and leg cast trying to catch a flying check.

Why Is My Workers’ Comp Check Late?

Sometimes, insurers cut checks like clockwork. Other times, however, we can spend a lot of effort chasing down late, lost, and otherwise troublesome benefits checks for clients. Some insurers may be hoping the financial strain on a client will push them to settlement – something we fight against vigorously.

Other times, slow or late workers’ comp checks are just a case of delays with the mail or, in a few cases, possibly an incompetent or unskilled adjuster. These companies are almost certainly using computer software to handle payments. There’s really no excuse for checks to be late repeatedly.

How Do You Track a Workers’ Compensation Check in NC?

Everyone wants to know, “how to track my workers’ comp check.” Unfortunately, other than notification of auto-drafts when they’re available, there’s not much injured workers can do. Calling adjusters is often a waste of time unless the checks are dangerously late, and workers’ compensation lawyers spend a lot of time trying to track them down.

A bloodhound sniffing the ground, following a trail of dollar signs.

What if I Don’t Get My Workers’ Compensation Check on Time?

If your workers’ comp benefits check is late, the insurer may be violating the rules. The North Carolina Industrial Commission can impose a 10% penalty on checks more than 14 days late. In other words, you would get 10% more on the check.

We see this often as workers’ compensation lawyers, and we address late checks by:

    • Calling to find out where the check is.


    • If it is more than 14 days late, we can file a motion to compel the insurer to send compensation checks.


Call Us and Let Us Help You

We’ve done this dance with insurers and adjusters before. We know the tune, the steps, the tricks, and how to fight to try to make things easier on you. You’ve got enough to deal with, and should be focusing on recovery. If your checks are erratic, late, or lost, contact us and tell the insurer you mean business.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose the best workers’ compensation attorney for me?

Ask the right questions and do your research. You can look at reviews and ratings online, and decide who to call. And, of course, you should make sure one of your calls is to us. Several of our workers’ compensation attorneys are NC State Bar Board Certified Specialists in Workers’ Compensation law.

How do I file a workers’ compensation claim?

There is a step-by-step process to filing a workers’ compensation claim, and it is important that you follow the steps and deadlines. Workers’ compensation law isn’t generally user-friendly. Consider hiring an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to help you file.

Do I really need a workers’ compensation attorney?

Whether or not you really need a workers’ compensation attorney is your choice, but hiring one has proven to be a good move for many of our clients.1 See their stories and our results.

About the Author

Susan Vanderweert practices workers’ compensation law in North Carolina for the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin. Previously, she represented the other side – insurance companies and employers – but moved on to fight on behalf of employees. Susan is a North Carolina State Bar Board Certified Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law, and she was selected by peers to the annual “Best Lawyers”a list for Workers’ Compensation Law in 2021 and 2022 by Best Lawyers in America.

aFor more information regarding the standards for inclusion, please visit