Some workers who have suffered particularly serious injuries on the job can be out of work for several months and have very real fears about their abilities to return to their lines of work. Employers are responsible for paying whatever rehabilitation costs an injured worker incurs as a result of being hurt on the job.
When an employee is unable to earn at least 80 percent of his or her average weekly wage and requires training and education to obtain suitable gainful employment, the employer or insurance company must pay for additional training and education temporary total compensation benefits while the employee receives such training and education. Insurance companies can be reluctant to pay employees the benefits they need for rehabilitation.
Lawyer for Workplace Injury Rehabilitation Costs in Miami, FL
Did you or your loved one sustain catastrophic injuries on the job in South Florida that will require rehabilitation? It will be critical for you to seek legal representation as soon as possible, and The Hoffman Firm can help you obtain the workers' compensation benefits you need and deserve.
Evan A. Hoffman is an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Miami who represents clients in West Palm Beach, Miami Beach, Homestead, Aventura, Hallandale Beach, Boynton Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and several nearby areas of South Florida. He can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (305) 940-2307 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.
Florida Workers’ Compensation Rehabilitation Costs Information Center
- What is the difference between physical, occupation, and vocational therapy?
- What are employers and insurance companies obligated to cover under state law?
- Where can I learn more about workers’ compensation rehabilitation in South Florida?
The extent of an injured worker’s rehabilitative care following an accident on the job depends on the severity of the injury. Occupational and physical therapists and rehabilitation counselors all treat people who have become permanently or temporarily disabled because of injuries, but each profession handles different aspects of an injured employee’s recovery.
While many forms of rehabilitation are used interchangeably, the types of therapy that an injured worker undergoes each have different focuses. Three of the most common forms of rehabilitative therapy include:
- Physical Therapy — Physical therapists (also called physiotherapists) focus largely on the actual injury itself. Physical therapy involves diagnosing and correcting physical dysfunctions while improving an injured worker’s basic functionality.
- Occupational Therapy — Occupational therapists focus on evaluating and restoring an injured worker’s ability to complete everyday tasks. Despite the common misconception that occupational therapy related to job counseling, it actually concentrates on many basic functions that allow injured workers to care for themselves.
- Vocational Therapy — Vocational therapy is the type of rehabilitation that focuses on helping injured workers regain productive employment. Vocational therapy typically involves testing and developing skills so injured workers can either return to their jobs or enter new professions.
Florida Statute § 440.491 was enacted with the intent “to encourage the provision of medical care coordination and reemployment services that are necessary to assist the employee in returning to work as soon as is medically feasible.” Under this statute, insurance companies have a duty to determine whether employees who have suffered injuries compensable under workers’ compensation and remain unemployed 60 days after the date of injury while receiving benefits for temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, or wage loss will be able to return to work.
Insurance companies are encouraged to obtain reemployment assessments if they determine that injured employees are at risk of remaining unemployed or if the cases involve catastrophic or serious injuries. Insurance companies then authorize state-certified rehabilitation providers to conduct reemployment assessments and issue reports to the employees and the insurance companies within 30 days.
If a rehabilitation provider recommends that the employee receive medical care coordination or reemployment services, the employee has 15 days after to accept the recommendation. If the employee agrees to accept the recommended rehabilitation, he or she has 15 days to begin receiving the recommended treatment.
If the rehabilitation provider concludes that training and education are necessary to return the employee to suitable gainful employment, or if the employee has not returned to suitable gainful employment within 180 days after referral for reemployment services or receives $2,500 in reemployment services (whichever comes first), the insurance company must discontinue reemployment services and refer the employee to the Florida Department of Rehabilitation Services.
When an employee who has attained maximum medical improvement (MMI)—the state where his or her condition cannot be improved any further—is unable to earn at least 80 percent of his or her compensation rate and requires training and education to obtain suitable gainful employment, the employer or insurance company will pay the employee additional training and education temporary total compensation benefits while the employee receives such training and education for a period not to exceed 26 weeks, although the period may be extended for an additional 26 weeks if determined to be necessary and proper by a judge of compensation claims.
Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation — Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is a federal-state program that helps people who have physical disabilities get or keep jobs. VR services include medical and psychological assessment, vocational evaluation and planning, and job placement as well as many other services. On this website you can learn more about the VR program, some of its success stories, and recent press releases.
Reemployment Services | Florida Department of Financial Services — The Reemployment Services program provides services to help injured workers obtain employment when their job related injuries or illnesses prevent them from returning to their usual lines of work. On this website, you can learn more about how the program works and find answers to several frequently asked questions. You can also find links to the Injured Employee Web Portal to request a screening for services.
Division of Workers' Compensation
Bureau of Compliance
401 N.W. Second Avenue
Miami, Florida 33128
The Hoffman Firm | Miami Workplace Injury Rehabilitation Costs Lawyer
If you or your loved one suffered serious injuries on the job that will require rehabilitation, it will be in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. The Hoffman Firm represents clients in communities throughout Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and Palm Beach County.
Miami workers’ compensation attorney Evan A. Hoffman fights to get injured workers the benefits they need and deserve for all workers’ compensation claims, including rehabilitation costs. Call (305) 940-2307 or submit an online contact form today to have our lawyer review your case and answer all of your legal questions during 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