In workers’ compensation cases, our clients are receiving weekly checks called “indemnity checks”. These payments are made consistent with the workers compensation statutes of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and are typically sixty percent (60%) of an injured person’s average weekly wage. For decades, the workers’ compensation insurers would send paper checks to the injured workers. Unfortunately, like many things that are mailed, the checks could be delayed by weather, holidays, or postal service log jams. In some situations, the insurers would just forget to send the checks.
In New Hampshire, we addressed this continual inefficiency by proposing a change to the law to require a workers’ compensation insurer to pay their injured workers by direct deposit. This eliminated the cost of producing and mailing the paper checks, and prevented unnecessary delays through the postal service. While the workers’ compensation insurers contested this change, Rory Parnell and the New Hampshire Association of Justice were able to help convince the New Hampshire legislature of the change, and it was signed into law by Governor Sununu. The law is RSA 281-A:40, and mandates an insurer pay an injured worker by direct deposit if they are out of work for six (6) weeks or more.
This change in the law might seem minor, but for those reliant on those checks to pay their bills the change has helped them avoid late fees and issues paying their bills on time.
The Law Offices of Parnell, Michels & McKay has extensive experience in the workers’ compensation field of both New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and we continue to not only advocate for our clients, but to find ways to change the laws that benefit them moving forward.