Workers’ compensation benefits only provide for a fraction of the wages that a person was earning before he or she was injured on the job. Injured employees in Florida who are receiving permanent total disability (PTD) benefits may be eligible for supplemental benefits that provide a little additional compensation.
Supplemental benefits typically end sooner than PTD benefits. Employers or insurance companies will attempt to stop paying these benefits when an injured worker becomes eligible for Social Security benefits.
Lawyer for Supplemental Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Miami, FL
If you or your loved one is receiving or applying to receive PTD benefits for a serious injury suffered on the job in South Florida, you deserve to know whether you are really getting all you are entitled to. The Hoffman Firm can work to make sure that you get the maximum workers’ compensation benefits available for your situation.
Miami workers’ compensation attorney Evan A. Hoffman represents clients all over South Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Miami Beach, Homestead, Aventura, Hallandale Beach, Boynton Beach, and many other surrounding areas. Call (305) 940-2307 today to have our lawyer provide a full evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.
Overview of Supplemental Benefits in Florida Workers’ Compensation Cases
- Who can receive supplemental benefits?
- How long can eligible workers receive supplemental benefits for?
- Where can I find more information about supplemental benefits in South Florida?
Workers can be classified as permanently disabled when they suffer catastrophic injuries that prevent them from working within a 50-mile radius of their homes. Florida Statute § 440.15(1)(b) establishes that an injured employee is presumed to be permanently and totally disabled if he or she sustained one of the following injuries:
- Spinal cord injury involving severe paralysis of an arm, a leg, or the trunk;
- Amputation of an arm, a hand, a foot, or a leg involving the effective loss of use of that appendage;
- Severe brain or closed-head injury as evidenced by severe sensory or motor disturbances, severe communication disturbances, severe complex integrated disturbances of cerebral function, severe episodic neurological disorders, or another severe brain and closed-head injury condition at least as severe in nature as any condition listed above;
- Second-degree or third-degree burns of 25 percent or more of the total body surface or third-degree burns of 5 percent or more to the face and hands; or
- Total or industrial blindness.
Under Florida Statute § 440.15(1)(f), a worker who suffers a permanent total disability resulting from injuries on the job can receive additional weekly compensation benefits equal to 3 percent of her or his weekly compensation rate, multiplied by the number of calendar years since the date of injury. The weekly compensation and additional benefits cannot exceed the maximum weekly compensation rate.
Florida Statute § 440.15(1)(f) also establishes that supplemental payments will not be paid or payable after the injured worker turns 62 years of age—regardless of whether the employee has applied for or is eligible to apply for Social Security benefits. The law does provide an exception for employees who are not eligible for Social Security benefits because their compensable injuries prevented them from working sufficient quarters to be eligible for such benefits.
The Social Security eligibility aspect of supplemental benefits creates numerous complications for injured workers who were between the ages of 62 and 65. It is critical for all people receiving or applying for PTD benefits to make sure they are working with an experienced attorney who can determine the best path forward to receive maximum benefits.
Chapter 69L-3: Workers' Compensation Claims | Florida Administrative Rules, Law, Code, Register — The Florida Administrative Code and Register is the filing point for rules implemented by state regulatory agencies. This chapter covers workers’ compensation claims. Chapters §§ 69L-3.0193-69L-3.01945 cover supplemental income benefits and permanent total supplemental benefits for dates of accident prior to, on, or after October 1, 2003.
Hillsborough County School Board and Broadspire v. Ward, 913 So. 2d 39 (Fla. 1st DCA 2005) — In 2005, Florida’s First District Court of Appeal heard this case in which the employer appealed the injured worker’s reinstatement of PTD supplemental benefits. The employer had been paying her PTD benefits and PTD supplemental benefits as the result of an injury sustained in 1993, but it terminated the supplemental benefits when she turned 62 years of age because she had reached PTD status prior to age 62. The Court of Appeal affirmed the ruling of the judge of compensation claims, stating that the employer “failed to present any evidence that claimant was eligible for social security disability benefits and declined an invitation to continue the merits hearing so that the issue could be addressed in more detail.”
The Hoffman Firm | Miami Supplemental Benefits Lawyer
Did you or your loved one sustain a catastrophic injury that makes you eligible for PTD benefits? You could be entitled to additional compensation, and The Hoffman Firm can fight to make sure you receive the supplemental benefits you need and deserve.
Evan A. Hoffman is a skilled workers’ compensation attorney in Miami who represents clients in communities throughout Palm Beach County, Miami-Dade County, and Broward County. He can review your case and help you understand your legal options when you call (305) 940-2307 or complete an online contact form to schedule a free consultation.
Evan A. Hoffman
Mr. Hoffman’s philosophy is "our knowledge and experience is your best defense." He has been a featured author on criminal law issues such as driving under the influence, domestic violence and illegal searches.Read More