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Florida Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Florida workers’ compensation benefits generally fall into two main categories: medical care and wage replacement. In the case of a fatal accident, dependents can also receive death benefits from workers’ comp. As a claimant or recipient of workers’ compensation, you could face many challenges and hurdles, such as disputes over the nature and extent of your injury, whether it is work-related, and when you are able to return to work and should have your benefits terminated.

Below we outline the benefits available under Florida workers’ compensation for an on-the-job injury or illness. If you are having trouble getting your benefits, if your claim is denied, underpaid, or if your benefits are cut off early, reach out to Chadwick & Chadwick for a free evaluation of your claim. Based in Tampa, our Florida workers’ compensation law firm helps injured workers statewide get the care and compensation they are entitled to under the law. With a strong commitment to providing our clients with personal attention, we’ll see to it that you are properly taken care of while we work to obtain the benefits for you that you deserve.

Medical Benefits

Workers’ compensation should cover all necessary medical treatment related to the work injury or illness. This includes hospital visits, doctor appointments, physical therapy, medication, and any necessary medical devices. Workers’ comp should pay the entire cost of treatment for the whole time you are under a doctor’s care due to your work injury.

Your mileage to and from doctor visits, picking up prescriptions from the pharmacy, going to rehab or PT, and other travel related to your medical care is reimbursable. You should receive mileage reimbursement forms in the packet the insurance carrier sends you after you report your injury.

Medical benefits are meant to be comprehensive. While this sounds great, medical benefits are one of the areas where it is clear that Florida workers’ compensation favors the employer over the employee. They do this by limiting the doctor you see to one that is authorized by your employer and their insurance carrier. If you feel like you aren’t getting the appropriate care for as long as you need it, or if you need to see a specialist but the doctor is stonewalling on a referral, contact our office to review your situation. We’ll advocate on your behalf as needed to make sure you are getting the care and treatment you need.

Wage Replacement

Wage replacement benefits provide you with a fraction of your pre-injury wage while you are out of work or working at a lower rate of pay due to disability. Wage replacement benefits differ depending on whether your injury is considered to be temporary or permanent, and whether it is deemed partial or total.

Temporary Total Disability (TTD)

While you are out of work, you’ll be paid two-thirds of your average weekly wage, within the minimum and maximum limits set by state law (these limits change from year to year). TTD payments can last for up to 104 weeks. If you were severely injured, it is possible to receive six months of wage replacement at 80% rather than two-thirds (66%).

Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)

If the doctor releases you to work but on a restricted duty or light duty status, and the pay you receive for this work is less than 80% of what you were getting before the injury, you can get TPD benefits for up to 104 weeks. The amount of TPD benefits is slightly less than TTD benefits and is subject to the same limits.

Permanent Total Disability (PTD)

Like TTD, PTD benefits amount to two-thirds of your pre-injury average weekly wage. If you can’t go back to work because of the injury, PTD benefits can be paid indefinitely up to age 75. These benefits will terminate sooner if your condition ever improves such that you can return to work.

Impairment Income

If you are still disabled once you have reached “maximum medical improvement” as certified by the doctor, you will be eligible for impairment income. Impairment benefits are typically paid at 75% of the TTD benefits you were receiving, depending on whether you are back at work and making more, less, or the same as you were before the injury. The doctor will assign an “impairment rating” which is used to calculate how long you can receive impairment income, which could range from two weeks to 385 weeks.

Death Benefits

When an employee dies as a result of a job-related injury or illness, the deceased workers’ dependents can receive workers’ compensation benefits to partially offset the financial impact of this loss. These benefits are critical for families and dependents of workers who tragically lost their lives due to workplace-related accidents or illnesses. Death benefits are eligible for a death that occurred within one year of a work-related accident or five years of continuous disability following the work injury.

Death benefit beneficiaries typically fall into two categories: primary and secondary beneficiaries. Primary beneficiaries include the spouse and children under the age of 18 (or under 22 if a full-time student). In certain cases, disabled children over these age limits may also qualify as primary beneficiaries. If there are no primary beneficiaries, other dependents such as parents or siblings may be eligible.

Death benefits include funeral expenses up to a specified limit, along with the replacement of a portion of the deceased’s wages, with the amount determined by the number and type of dependents, subject to a maximum limit set by state law. Additionally, the surviving spouse may also receive educational benefits to assist in job training or re-skilling.

Get Help With Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Florida by Calling Chadwick & Chadwick in Tampa

The attorneys at Chadwick & Chadwick have several decades of combined experience helping injured workers get the benefits they are entitled to under the law. If your claim is denied, if your benefits are cut off prematurely or underpaid, if you are offered a lowball lump sum settlement, or if the insurance company is giving you the runaround with endless requests for documentation, it’s time to get an experienced and successful workers’ compensation lawyer on your side who can advocate for you and get the benefits you are entitled to under the law. For help with workers’ compensation claims throughout the state of Florida, call Chadwick & Chadwick in Tampa at 813-264-1500 for a free consultation. There is no fee until we secure benefits for you.

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