The workers compensation system has existed in Florida for over a hundred years. The point of this program is to provide injured workers with medical coverage and replacement wages while they wait to return to work, as opposed to unemployment benefits. One of the drawbacks of workers comp is that you only receive 2/3 of your average weekly wages. It doesn’t matter what your workers comp lawyers in Coral Springs, Florida do, they can’t get you more than that amount.
The other problem is that people on workers compensation in Florida aren’t allowed to receive more than the maximum weekly benefit amount. In Florida, the cap on workers comp replacement wages is $917. People who make more than approximately $1,500 per week will lose out if they have to go out on workers comp. They won’t get 2.3 of their average weekly wages. The most they can collect is $917 per week.
For this reason, many of our clients ask us if they can file for unemployment benefits while they’re out on workers comp. It makes sense, right? It seems only fair that you can collect the difference between what you were making before your accident and the lower weekly benefit rate you’ll collect until you return to the job. However, Florida workers comp law does not allow people to collect unemployment benefits and workers compensation benefits at the same time.
Here, we will explain the difference between workers comp benefits and unemployment benefits. We will also discuss why this is the case. It seems so unfair that you should lose money, simply because you got hurt on the job. If you have questions or concerns about your own workers compensation case, feel free to give us a call.
Florida Law Prohibits You from Collecting Workers Comp and Unemployment Benefits at the Same Time
It may not seem fair, and it’s certainly not what you want to hear, but the law is the law. In Florida, you aren’t allowed to collect workers compensation benefits and unemployment benefits at the same time. You may fall into a very unique situation in which you’re collecting partial unemployment benefits while working part-time at your main job. Odds are, you’re out on workers compensation and are just hoping you can apply for additional benefits.
The problem for workers comp claimants in Florida is that they only receive 2/3 of their average weekly wages. For workers who earn more than about $1,500 per week, being on workers compensation costs them money. Since workers compensation benefits aren’t taxable in Florida, you’re still going to be clearing the same amount you would’ve earned while working full-time.
Can’t You Demand the Difference Between Your Income and the Amount of Your Workers Compensation Benefits?
It seems extremely unfair that you only receive 2/3 of your average weekly wage while out on workers compensation. Our injury lawyers in Coral Springs meet with clients every week who complain about this very thing.
It can be scary to learn that you won’t be collecting your full salary while out on workers compensation. However, if you think about it, since no taxes are coming out, you probably aren’t losing any money.
The real problem is when you earn more than $1,500 per week and are told that you won’t receive more than $917 on workers comp. How will you pay your bills? Theoretically, you could go from earning a few thousand dollars a week to receiving just $917. It seems only fair that you can receive the difference through unemployment benefits.
You May Not Qualify for Unemployment Benefits Anyway
Just because you’re earning less than your full salary on workers comp, that doesn’t mean you’ll qualify for unemployment benefits. In order to collect unemployment benefits, you must be out of work or only working part-time. The only reason you’re not working is because you were hurt. The workers compensation commission doesn’t care that you can’t pay your bills. Neither does the unemployment board.
As much as your workers compensation lawyer in Coral Springs, Florida wants to help, they also want to be honest with you. The last thing we want to do is get a client’s hopes up only to have them dashed. Unless you fall into one of the very specific exemptions discussed here, you won’t be able to qualify for both unemployment benefits and workers comp.
Come in and Meet with One of Our Seasoned Workers Compensation Lawyer in Coral Springs, Florida
If you’re out on workers compensation and are wondering if you can apply for unemployment benefits, you should give us a call. One of our workers compensation lawyers in Coral Springs, Florida can sit down with you and discuss your case. Sadly, you probably won’t like the answer we give you. There are very few situations in which you can collect both unemployment benefits and workers compensation benefits. In fact, they are so rare, our associates have only come across them a handful of times.
What we suggest is that you come into the office and meet with an injury lawyer in Coral Springs. They can review your workers comp case and look at your file. If you’re close to reaching maximum medical improvement, we may be able to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. If that isn’t possible, we can get a second opinion to find out what your permanent disability will be.
Call our office today and schedule your free, initial consultation. This gives you a chance to ask any questions you may have. It also gives our team of attorneys a chance to review your case. If they think you have a shot at collecting both workers comp and unemployment benefits, they’ll certainly let you know. However, odds are, you’ll have to survive a little bit longer on just your workers compensation replacement wages. Since your consultation is free, you really don’t have anything to lose.