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You can’t unilaterally stop workers’ comp payments

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in Employee Benefits Program,Human Resources

If you directly pay workers’ compensation benefits because you’re self-insured, remember that you can’t stop paying merely because you believe the employee is no longer disabled.

You still have to petition the North Carolina Industrial Commission. It will give the employee a chance to contest your claim that she has recovered and can return to productive work.

Recent case: Claudette Fonville injured herself when she hit her head during a company luncheon. Her employer began paying temporary disability benefits because of her injuries. Then it unilaterally cut those benefits.

When the North Carolina Industrial Commission refused to say the employer was wrong, Fonville appealed. The North Carolina Court of Appeals agreed with Fonville and reversed the commission’s decision. It said employers must petition for a reduction or termination before cutting benefits. (Fonville v. General Motors, No. COA09-120, North Carolina Court of Appeals, 2009) 

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