I received a letter from my workers compensation company that they have overpaid me by $19,950.00. I have 10 days to repond. Unfortunately the letter is dated 8/5/2011 and should have responded by 8/15/2011. The form letter has an x checked in the box that states, "Included in the total benefit paid is an overpayment totaling $19,949.23 The overpayment was paid for the period(s) 5/1/2009 through 7/31/2011 at $170.00 per week. We intend to assert credit for this overpayment at the time of settlement." My date of injury was 4/19/1997. In my reward I received future medical. I have monthly pain management doctor visits and prescribed several medications.
First I need to find out if I have to payback. I found the following online;
A: The WBC has authority to enforce an overpayment. Bell v IAC (1953) 18 CCC 243 (writ denied).
2nd is what type of law atty should I look for. Employment law, or Workers Comp?
A: Workers Comp. See this link for reputable referrals..
3rd settlement plans I thought of are paying in full a reduced amount, credit my future medical?
A: You may be jumping the gun. The insurer is trying to avoid payment, and it may not be warranted, based upon the final determination of your injuries.
I need to know what is the best way to handle the situation.
A: Dispute the overpayment and try to show that the basis for the decision is wrong during settlement -- then settle on an amount more than you want to pay and less than the insurer/employer wants to pay.
I received the letter 8/16/2011 and contacted my claims rep and left a message.
A: The WCB can relieve a person for an untimely response -- e.g.,
J.C. Penney Co. v. Workers' Comp. Appeals Bd. (2009) 175 Cal. App. 4th 818 ("Lab. Code, § 4062, permits extension of the time periods for objection for good cause. § 4062, subd. (a). However, a court will not speculate about the nature of good cause in the abstract. Ignorance of a legal theory of rebuttal of a medical determination is not good cause for failure to object.").
Hope this helps.
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