Do I Have a Right to Temporary Disability Payments Right After My Work Injury?
When you’re injured at work, one of your first thoughts may be how you’re going to pay your bills if you can’t report to work during your recovery. Other times, workers worry they won’t qualify for benefits if their injury isn’t quite bad enough to keep them off the job entirely.
Fortunately, workers’ compensation claim is available for the majority of workers injured in Florida, regardless of whether your injury requires you to take time off or forces you to perform light duty. How much you receive depends on several factors.
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- West Palm Beach, Florida
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- Orlando, Florida
If you have been injured on the job, it’s best to speak with a Florida workers’ compensation lawyer to ensure you get the full amount of benefits available in your case, and that you received them in a timely manner.
What Are Temporary Disability Benefits?
Temporary disability benefits come in two forms: temporary total disability and temporary partial disability. You are eligible for temporary total disability benefits if your work-related injury prevents you from working at all. However, if you can still return to work, albeit not at full capacity, you may still qualify for temporary partial disability benefits. In either case, temporary disability benefits do not last forever.
How Long Do Temporary Disability Payments Last?
After an on-the-job injury, you want to know exactly when you can expect to start receiving benefits. Under Florida law, workers’ compensation does not cover the first seven days of disability unless the worker’s injury causes disability lasting more than 21 days. If you sustain an injury that renders you disabled for more than 21 days, your benefits will be back-dated to the first day of your injury. Under Section 440.20 of the Florida Statutes, you should receive your first check within 21 days after your injury and every two weeks thereafter.
Whether you receive temporary total disability benefits, temporary partial disability benefits, or a combination of the two, you are entitled to a maximum of 104 weeks of benefits under Florida Law. However, if your doctor determines that you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), your benefits will stop, even if fewer than 104 weeks have passed.
How Are Temporary Disability Payments Calculated?
If you receive temporary total disability benefits, your compensation is determined by taking your average weekly wage and multiplying it by about 66 percent (technically 66⅔ percent). Calculating temporary partial disability payments is determined by multiplying your average weekly wage by 80 percent and subtracting any gross wages you earn while on light duty. You then take that number and multiply it by 80 percent.
Whether you are entitled to receive temporary total disability or temporary partial disability, calculating these benefits is a complicated task that can be influenced by other factors. Online calculators can give you a general idea of your benefits, but you shouldn’t rely on them to be completely accurate.
What Happens If My Temporary Disability Payments Are Delayed?
If your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company has delayed your payments, you may be entitled to a 20 percent late payment penalty. Under Florida law, workers’ compensation payments are considered late when they are seven days past due the installment date. However, insurers may try to argue that payments were delayed for a legitimate reason. To improve your chances of receiving a late payment penalty, contact a knowledgeable Florida workers’ compensation lawyer.
Get more information about workers’ compensation benefits in Florida:
- An Overview of Florida Workers’ Compensation Laws
- Types of Workplace Injuries
- Can I Get Workers’ Compensation for a Construction Injury?
Call a Florida Workers’ Compensation Lawyer about Your Case
There are a lot of myths and misconceptions surrounding workers’ compensation law. It’s easy to get discouraged when confronted by the seemingly labyrinthine process of filing a claim. Get the facts and answers you deserve. Your Florida workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate the workers’ compensation claims process, so you don’t have to worry about whether you’re doing it right.