Section 21-a and Claims Paid Without Liability

Section 21-a and Claims Paid Without Liability

Workers’ Compensation Law (WCL) § 21-a allows a payer to make temporary payments of compensation, if unsure of the extent of its liability for a claim, for up to one year without prejudice and without admitting liability. 

When a payer elects to make temporary payments of compensation to a claimant under WCL § 21-a, the payments must be consistent with the medical reports of the claimant’s treating medical providers in the Board’s file, and information in its possession concerning wages paid to the claimant.

The payer may not reduce indemnity benefits based on an independent medical exam (IME). Nor may a payer pay the minimum benefit rate to a claimant who was working full time prior to the work-related injury just because there is no Employer’s Statement of Wage Earnings (Preceding Date of Injury/Illness) (Form C-240) in the file.

Failure to comply with this directive may result in the payer losing its right to continue making temporary payments of compensation pursuant to WCL § 21-a and the imposition of penalties for instituting or continuing proceedings without reasonable grounds per WCL § 114-a(3). 


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