Workers compensation is a crucial aspect of employment law, providing necessary benefits to employees who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses. In Florida, the requirements for workers compensation are governed by specific laws and regulations.
This blog post aims to provide a comprehensive overview of these requirements. Contact our Tampa workers comp lawyers for help with your claim.
Eligibility for Workers Compensation in Florida
In Florida, workers who sustain injuries or contract illnesses as a result of their employment may qualify for workers’ compensation. However, it’s crucial to understand that your employment classification significantly influences your eligibility. In particular, you must be an employee, not an independent contractor. Independent contractors, who essentially are self-employed, are not entitled to workers’ compensation insurance benefits.
Employer’s Obligations: Who Must Provide Coverage?
In Florida, most employers are required to provide workers’ compensation coverage. Coverage is mandatory for construction companies with at least one employee of the number of employees. Non-construction companies, on the other hand, are required to provide coverage if they have four or more part- or full-time employees.
Injury or Illness: What Qualifies?
To be eligible for workers’ compensation in Florida, the injury or illness must have a direct connection to your job tasks or responsibilities. The link between work-related injuries and the job is usually easy to establish. For example, if you are injured while operating machinery at your workplace or if you slip and fall on an uneven surface, the correlation between your job and your injury is clear.
The connection between occupational illnesses and work may require a more in-depth investigation. Occupational illnesses are widespread and impact many people across the U.S. Conditions such as respiratory diseases must have a direct link to your employment. This could occur due to an accident at the workplace or from long-term exposure over time.
Reporting: When and How?
In terms of reporting requirements for workers’ compensation in Florida, it’s crucial that you report your injury or illness within 30 days of becoming aware of it. All necessary documents must be accurate and thorough, and each step needs to be precisely followed under the requirements for workers’ compensation in Florida. You can enlist the services of a workers compensation attorney if you are unsure about the reporting process.
Worker’s Compensation Benefits in Florida
Workers’ compensation covers all necessary medical care required to treat a work-related injury or illness, provided that the treatment is prescribed by the treating physician and approved by the insurance company.
Florida workers’ compensation also provides wage replacement benefits. workers comp benefits for temporary disability are 66 2/3 percent of your average weekly wage. The maximum rate is $1,197 per week for injuries that occur on or after January 1, 2023.
For serious injuries such as paralysis or blindness, the compensation rate is higher: it’s 80% of the worker’s pre-injury earnings for the initial six months, with no maximum limit. The statutory minimum is set at $20 per week.
Workers can receive temporary total or partial disability benefits for up to 104 weeks.
Claim Process for Worker’s Compensation in Florida
The process of a worker’s compensation claim in Florida involves the following steps:
- Inform your employer within a 30-day window.
- Inquire about the authorized physician who can attend to your injury or illness.
- Ensure that your employer has informed their insurance provider.
- Anticipate contact from the adjuster.
- Examine and fill out the necessary forms.
- Wait for a decision.
- If your claim is denied, take the necessary steps to appeal.
To file a workers’ compensation claim, you need to complete appropriate paperwork detailing your injuries and their cause. The employee must file the claim within two years after the injury arose.