When you get injured on the job in Florida, it’s not easy to calculate just how much you need to collect in workers comp benefits, especially if your work injury is severe. That’s why you need to have experienced Florida workers comp lawyers on your side. A good team of attorneys will not only assist you in the complex calculation of your benefits but will work diligently to ensure you get what you rightfully deserve.
Factors that affect how you calculate your Florida workers comp benefits
When you suffer a work-related injury or illness, Florida workers’ comp insurance is meant to cater for all resulting expenses and losses. These include medical costs, lost wages, and lost overtime pay, or funeral costs. Usually, the benefits you are eligible to collect will vary based on the level of impairment and your individual situation.
It’s important to note that the medical care benefits you can receive after a workplace injury will remain valid as long as the need for the care is work-related. However, if you want to calculate workers comp benefits for lost wages, the severity of your job injury or illness will determine the amount of compensation you can collect and for how long.
In simple terms, you may receive lost wages benefits for shorter or longer duration in case of:
Permanent total disability
In the case where your injuries are so severe as to render you permanently unable to return to work, you are entitled to at least 66.67% of your average weekly wages. These benefits should continue until you attain 75 years as long as you are not in a position to resume work.
Temporary total disability
This is awarded when an injured employee is too ill or sick to resume work, but their injury is not permanent. According to § 440.15(2), an injured worker who suffers temporary total disability is eligible to collect 66.67 % of their average weekly pre-injury wages benefits for up 104 weeks. After this period, the benefits shall cease, and the worker’s injury may be termed permanent.
Permanent partial disability
Once the temporary benefits expire and you are still not fit to perform work-related tasks, you are eligible to collect impairment income benefits. These benefits are paid biweekly at the rate of 75% of the worker’s average weekly temporary total disability benefit.
In case you can continue working, your treating physician will assign an impairment rating that ranges from 1% to 100%, which will determine the amount of workers comp benefits you can calculate to receive. If, after returning to work, you earn the same or more than your pre-injury wages, you will be entitled to only 50% of your weekly benefits.
Temporary partial disability (TPD)
These benefits are often paid when an employee returns to work with accident-related restrictions and starts to earn wages not exceeding 80% of their pre-injury average weekly wage. In the case of TPD, compensation is often equal to 80% of the difference between 80% of the worker’s average weekly pay and what they can earn after the injury.
How to track your Florida worker’s comp check?
Once you and your Florida workers comp attorney have reached a settlement and signed all the necessary documentation, your checks should arrive on time. Usually, this happens in increments as they would if you were working before the injuries.
However, the process may not always be smooth, and you may experience delays. The delays could occur if the insurance adjuster has not received updated work limitations from your doctor or if you accidentally fall off the insurer’s automated payment system.
In other situations, the insurer could discontinue your checks if they have a valid basis for doing so. If you believe your checks have been stopped unfairly, or there are problems with increments, your Florida workers comp lawyers can help establish the cause and provide next steps to remedy the situation.
When does Florida workers comp start paying?
When you qualify for benefits resulting from work-related injuries, it is understandable you could be eager to know when your first check will arrive. In Florida, you are not compensated for the first seven days of disability unless your disability extends beyond 21 days, after which you will be paid retroactively for the first seven days.
Your check will arrive after 21 days from the date of reporting your injury, after which it will arrive every two weeks for the duration you are eligible for compensation.
Contact our Florida workers’ comp lawyers to calculate your benefits
Navigating the process of work-related injury compensation can be challenging and should never be done without the assistance of a skilled Florida workers’ comp attorney. At Sternberg / Forsythe, P.A, we understand the stress involved when you try to calculate your workers comp benefits alone and we would love to be of assistance. With us, you can be sure that your case is in the right hands as you focus on your recovery. Give us a call or contact us online today for a free consultation.