Types of Workers' Compensation Benefits in Florida
Many types of Workers' Compensation benefits are available in Florida after a worker is injured on the job. Some employers make it difficult for employees to access these benefits, but the law explicitly supports injured workers.
According to Section 440.015 of the Florida Statutes, it is the intent of the Florida Legislature that the Workers’ Compensation Law be interpreted so as to assure the quick and efficient delivery of disability and medical benefits to an injured worker and to facilitate the worker’s return to gainful re-employment at a reasonable cost to the employer.
Attorney for Workers' Compensation Benefits in Miami, Florida
If you were injured on the job and filed a workers' compensation claim, or if you are debating whether to file such a claim, contact the experienced attorneys at The Hoffman Firm to discuss the workers' compensation benefits that are lawfully available to you.
The Hoffman Firm represents people who file worker's compensation claims in Miami and throughout the Greater Miami area, including Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and Palm Beach County, FL.
The attorneys at The Hoffman Firm represent injured workers for workers' compensation claims in the cities of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Miami Beach, Homestead, Aventura, Hallandale Beach, and Boynton Beach, as well as other communities throughout South Florida.
No matter if you were injured in a slip and fall at work, or other type of injury, call us today at (305) 940-2307 to discuss your case.
Benefits under Florida Workers’ Compensation Law
Florida Workers’ Compensation Law is “self-executing" in the sense that the benefits are provided “in real time.” In other words, the injured worker does not have to make a claim and await a post-hearing award.
The benefits paid in a workers' compensation case can include:
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
- Rehabilitation Costs
- Permanent Impairment
- Impairment Income
- Supplemental Benefits
- Permanent Total Benefits
- Death Benefits
- Temporary Total Rehabilitation
- Temporary Partial
- Catastrophic Loss
- AWW (Average Weekly Wage)
Medical Benefits in Workers' Compensation Cases
After the insurance carrier is notified about the work-related injury, the carrier should take the following actions:
- Determine the compensability of the injury
- Provide an authorized doctor
- Pay for all authorized medically necessary care and treatment related to the injury
In workers' compensation cases, authorized treatment and care might include:
- Doctor visits
- Physical therapy
- Prescription drugs
- Medical tests
- Travel expenses to and from an authorized doctor
After the injured worker reaches maximum medical improvement (MMI), the worker is required to pay a $10 co-payment per visit for medical treatment. MMI occurs when the physician treating the worker determines that the injury has healed to the extent that further improvement is not likely.
How Workers' Compensation Benefits Are Paid
Once the employee properly reports a compensable accident and complies with the requirements, the injured worker will receive indemnity benefits. Indemnity benefits include money to replace lost wages or earning capacity. The indemnity benefits are paid until the injured worker reaches his or her maximum medical improvement (MMI).
After MMI occurs, if the worker's injury is fully resolved and not permanent, then he or she will receive no more indemnity benefits. On the other hand, if the injury is considered "permanent," but allows a return to some type of work, he or she is entitled to impairment benefits.
If his injury is permanent and prevents the worker from ever returning to the job, then the injured worker will receive permanent total disability checks. Those checks can possibly be paid for a lifetime.
Before reaching the maximum medical improvement (MMI), workers' compensation in Florida pays 100 percent of the medical care that is medically necessary and causally related to the accident. Then the injured worker is required to make a $10 co-payment for each doctor visit, but continues to receive all medically necessary and causally related medical care. In some cases, such care can last for a lifetime.
Statute of Limitations in Workers' Compensation Claims
All workers' compensation benefits may be lost if the statute of limitations runs out. In Florida, an injured worker has two years from the date a reasonable person should have known of the accident to bring the claim. Even after bringing the claim, the statute of limitations may still expire if the injured employee stops receiving benefits.
The statute of limitations is never shorter than two years from the date of the accident. The injured worker can extend the two-year period by an additional year each time the injured worker either:
- Visits a doctor with the insurance carrier's payment and approval, or
- Is paid an indemnity check because of the workplace injury
Temporary Indemnity Benefits in Workers' Compensation Claims
Under Florida law, temporary indemnity benefits are only available to an injured worker whose injury causes the worker to miss more than seven days of work.
Under other types of temporary benefits, the checks are paid bi-weekly. Appropriate offsets may be taken by the insurance carrier for income such as unemployment compensation or Social Security disability.
Other workers' compensation benefits available in many cases include:
- Reimbursement for mileage for medically necessary doctor appointments
- Penalties on benefits unpaid or paid late
- Interest on benefits unpaid or paid late
- Retraining, and
- Vocational assistance
Compensation Rates in Florida Workers' Compensation Cases — Florida's Department of Financial Services, Division of Workers' Compensation, offers many resources for injured workers, including a table that traces the history of minimum and maximum compensation rates to the present day.
Benefit Calculators — Injured employees can calculate the benefits they should receive by using the handy benefit calculators that are part of the tools offered by the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Workers' Compensation.
Learn about Types of Workers' Comp Benefits from a Workers' Comp Attorney in Miami, FL
If you were injured on the job, notify your employer as soon as possible and contact The Hoffman Firm within 30 days of the incident to discuss your case. Your employer or the insurance company should notify you of your rights and provide treatment through a workers’ compensation physician.
Make sure you keep track of any and all documentation you receive during this time. You should document when the accident happened, the type of injury you suffered, who you notified at your place of employment, and when the notification was made.
If you or a family member were injured at work, contact The Hoffman Firm today. Please do not hesitate to call us and schedule a free consultation. There are NO FEES or COSTS unless you win. What are you waiting for? Call the >experienced workers' compensation lawyers in the Miami area at (305) 940-2307 today for a FREE consultation.
This article was last updated on Monday, May 23, 2016.
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