Injured employees disabled from work due to their work-related injuries generally depend on their weekly workers’ compensation disability checks for their livelihoods. Such employees may worry, “Can the carrier stop paying me?”
Fortunately for New Hampshire employees, New Hampshire law prohibits carriers from unilaterally stopping payment of benefits to employees determined to have suffered compensable work-related injuries, absent exceptional circumstances. A carrier may suspend benefits, for example, if an employee scheduled for an Independent Medical Examination fails to appear for the examination without excuse.
Generally, a carrier seeking to terminate an injured employee’s benefits must request that the New Hampshire Department of Labor schedule a hearing that both the carrier and the employee must attend. Only if a Department of Labor Hearing Officer determines that the carrier has proven a change in the injured employee’s condition sufficient to warrant termination of benefits may the carrier stop paying disability benefits to the employee.
Sometimes workers’ compensation carriers fail to follow the law and terminate benefits without obtaining Department of Labor approval as required. When this happens, the employee should notify the Department of Labor promptly. The Department of Labor will order reinstatement of benefits and may impose penalties on the carrier.
If you are an injured employee needing assistance with a workers’ compensation matter, you should contact an experienced attorney such as Benjamin T. King. New Hampshire Magazine has ranked Attorney King one of the best attorneys in the State in representing injured employees in workers’ compensation matters. Attorney King can be reached at 1-800-240-1988 or fill out our online contact form.