When people come into our office, their first question has to do with the benefit they’ll receive under workers comp in Florida. By the time they come to see us, they have already passed their first seven-day waiting period and they may qualify for retroactive workers comp. Usually, it isn’t until a client’s claim is denied that they call a workers compensation lawyer in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
We often suggest that people hurt on the job visit with a personal injury lawyer in Florida as soon as possible after their accident. This way, we can help them with their initial claim. We’ll make sure the insurance company and your employer handle it fairly. If we get word that they have denied your claim, we will help you move forward with an appeal and, if necessary, legal action.
Here, we will discuss how retroactive workers comp works. We will also briefly explain what the benefits are in Florida. If you still have questions about your own case and about retroactive workers comp, don’t hesitate to contact us directly.
There Are 2 Types of Benefits Under Retroactive Workers Comp
When clients come to see us about their retroactive workers comp benefits, we always clarify what type they’re referring to. In Florida, as in most other states, there are two types of retroactive workers comp payments. The first refers to payment for the initial 7-day waiting period. These benefits are held until you have missed at least 21 consecutive days from work. Once you pass the 21-day period, you will receive a retroactive check for the first 7 days.
The second type of retroactive workers comp payments has to do with workers whose claim was denied the first time around. By the time your claim is finally approved (or ordered by the Florida Workers Compensation Hearing Officer), you should be entitled to backpay. The problem is that most employers and insurance companies find a way around this. We will discuss this in detail below.
Your Workers Compensation Lawyer in Ft. Lauderdale Understands the Appeals Process
When it comes to appealing your workers comp claim in Florida, it works like most other appellate matters. If your claim is initially denied by your employer, you will file an appeal with the Division of Workers Compensation in Florida. You will have a chance to attend a hearing before the Hearing Officer. They’ll decide whether your claim should be paid or not.
If the Hearing Officer approves your claim, you should be excited. That means that you’ll start to receive benefits under retroactive workers comp. It also means you’ll receive backpay for the days you have missed from work, right?
Unfortunately, despite the fact that the Hearing Officer approved your claim, the insurance company and your employer have a workaround to avoid retroactive workers comp payment. They will claim that you didn’t get a confirmation from a state-approved workers comp doctor until after your claim was approved. And, since they aren’t legally required to pay benefits until this happens, they believe they don’t owe you backpay.
The other argument made by your employer is that, now that so much time has gone by, you’re able to return to work. Since this is the case, they don’t feel they should pay you for any time you missed under retroactive workers comp.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer in Florida Help?
After being out of work without pay for months, the last thing you want to hear is that you won’t be receiving a retroactive workers comp payment. It doesn’t seem fair. You can’t even imagine going back to work for a company that would do this to you. Our personal injury lawyers in Florida agree. However, you can’t just roll over and accept the fact that they don’t want to issue you retroactive workers comp payment.
Our workers compensation lawyers in Ft. Lauderdale will fight to get you retroactive workers comp payment. It can be several months before your claim is actually ruled payable. Even if you win your first appeal, your employer can still appeal that decision. What happens is you’ll have to go before an Appeals Officer to have your claim assessed once again. If you win this retroactive workers comp claim, you can hope that your benefits will finally be paid.
What if Your Employer Refuses to Pay Your Retroactive Workers Comp Benefits?
If after all this, your employer refuses to pay your retroactive workers comp payments, we can help. Our workers compensation lawyers in Fort Lauderdale will file suit against your employer. If there is a state-issued order that they pay you backpay, they can’t just ignore it.
The good news is that most companies don’t go so far as to drag things out for several months. If a company gets a reputation for doing this sort of thing, nobody will want to work for them. The hard part will be returning to work there. Knowing how they treated you and how they tried to cheat you out of your money, that will be hard.
Just keep in mind – you aren’t required to continue working there after you return from workers compensation. You can certainly look for a job once you’ve recovered.
Contact an Experienced Workers Compensation Lawyer in Ft. Lauderdale Right Away
As mentioned above, many people don’t think to call a workers compensation lawyer in Ft. Lauderdale until their claim has been denied. This can be frustrating for both our clients and our associates. If people realized the benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer in Florida immediately after their workplace accident, they wouldn’t wait so long.
The reason we suggest people reach out to us sooner rather than later is because we can help with the initial claims process. We will make sure the information submitted on your claim is accurate. We will also make sure the insurance company doesn’t try to take advantage of you.
Of course, there’s nothing we can do if the insurance company decides to use unfair tactics and not pay your retroactive workers comp benefits. However, we will do whatever we can to challenge their behavior and work to get the Florida Workers Compensation Appeals Officer approve your claim and force your employer to make payment.
Call our office so that we can schedule your initial consultation. It doesn’t cost you a thing and it can give the peace of mind you need during what must be a difficult time.