When Is a Florida Worker Entitled to Permanent Disability?
Fortunately, most people injured at work aren’t permanently hurt. Although any work-related injury has the potential to require a lengthy and painful recovery, the good news is that comparatively few on-the-job accidents result in catastrophic impairments. When work accidents are serious, however, they tend to be very serious.
If you have been severely hurt on the job, you may never be able to work again, or to return to that particular line of work. In these cases, you may be entitled to permanent disability benefits.
Qualifying for permanent disability benefits under Florida compensation law is quite difficult. To improve your chances of getting the money you need, work with an experienced Florida workers’ compensation lawyer.
Some Of The Main Areas We Serve Can Be Found Below:
- West Palm Beach, Florida
- Boca Raton, Florida
- Orlando, Florida
Disability Is Unpredictable
Disability is not something that only happens to the elderly or an unlucky few. An accident can occur at any age, especially for people who work in dangerous occupations. According to the Social Security Administration, 56 million people in the U.S. have some form of disability. This accounts for one out of five Americans. Furthermore, one in four 20-year-olds will become disabled before reaching retirement.
As of 2012, 60 percent of Americans lived in a two-income household. When a worker’s injury is severe enough to prevent him or her from ever getting back on the job, it can take a serious financial and emotional toll on the entire family. This is why it’s so critical for permanently disabled workers to get the benefits they deserve.
Qualifying for Permanent Disability Benefits
Under the Florida Workers’ Compensation Act, workers qualify for permanent total disability for the following injuries, unless the employer or its workers’ compensation insurance company can prove the worker is capable of performing at least sedentary labor within a 50-mile radius of the worker’s home:
- Spinal cord injury that causes severe paralysis in the arm, leg, or trunk
- Amputation of an arm, hand, foot, or leg
- Severe brain injury
- Second-degree or third-degree burns on 25 percent or more of the body, or third-degree burns on five percent or more of the face and hands
- Total or industrial blindness
As one might expect, this is a challenging standard to meet. The workers’ compensation insurance carrier will do everything it can to show that a worker is capable of locating and performing some kind of employment. If a worker lives in a highly populated area, the insurance company will try to show that there are many job opportunities available, even for sedentary employment.
Even if a worker lives in a rural part of the state, if a neighboring city is within a 50-mile radius, the insurer will likely try to show the worker still has job prospects. It requires the skill and experience of a seasoned workers’ compensation lawyer to make sure disabled workers receive the benefits they need.
How Long Can I Receive Permanent Disability?
If you qualify for permanent total disability, you will receive 66⅔ percent of your average weekly wages through age 75. If your injury occurred after you turned 70, you are eligible for benefits for five years. Workers’ compensation will also pay cost of living increases through age 62.
Learn more about workers’ compensation benefits in Florida:
- Understanding Medical Benefits for a Workers’ Compensation Claim
- Workers’ Compensation in Florida Does Not Include Pain and Suffering
- Florida Workers’ Comp Filing Requirements
Get Help Understand Florida Compensation Law
Living with a permanent disability is difficult. The last thing you need to worry about is being denied the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. If you were hurt in an on-the-job accident that has left you permanently disabled and prevents you from returning to work, it’s important to work with an experienced Florida compensation law. Don’t miss your opportunity to get the benefits you need now. Call today to discuss your case with a knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer.
Expert Attorneys Working in West Palm Beach
- Scott J. Sternberg