CHAPTER 196

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 262

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NOS. 1 AND 2 AND

SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 19 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO WORKERS' COMPENSATION.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Three-fifths of all members elected to each house thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. Amend Chapter 23, § 2362, Title 19, Delaware Code, by deleting that section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"§ 2362. Notice of Denial of Liability; Penalty for Delay in Payment of Compensation.

(a) An employer or its insurance carrier shall within 15 days after receipt of knowledge of a work-related injury notify the Department and the claimant in writing of: the date the notice of the claimant's alleged industrial accident was received; whether the claim is accepted or denied; if denied, the reason for the denial; or if it cannot accept or deny the claim, the reasons therefor and approximately when a determination will be made.

(b) All medical expenses shall be paid within 30 days after bills and documentation for said expenses are received by the employer or its insurance carrier for payment, unless the carrier or self-insured employer notifies claimant or his/her attorney in writing that said expenses are contested or that further verification is required.

(c) In the event that the parties reach a written agreement as to compensation due to claimant, payment of compensation shall commence within 14 days of the date of that agreement. The parties must also file the original agreement, and if applicable, a receipt with the Department of Labor within 14 days of the date of the agreement.

(d) Following an award by the Board, the first payment of compensation shall be paid by the employer or its insurance carrier no later than 14 days after the award becomes final and binding pursuant to

§ 2349.

(e) If, following a hearing, the Board determines that the employer or its insurance carrier failed in its responsibilities under sections (a), (b), (c) or (d) above, it shall assess a fine no less than $500 and no more than $2,500. The fine shall be payable to the Workers' compensation Fund.".

Approved July 19, 2001