You can choose to use your sick or vacation time for workers compensation time off in Florida. However, an employer can’t require you to do this.
Unless you miss more than 21 days of work, you won’t receive workers comp benefits for the first 7 days. So many Florida employees decide to use seek or vacation time to cover the first week.
Navigating the workers compensation process can be complicated, but our team at Work Injury Rights is here to help you get the benefits you deserve. We serve clients in Coral Springs and across Florida. Reach out to us today!
Can Sick or Vacation Time Be Used for Workers Compensation?
In Florida, an employer cannot require an employee to use their sick, personal, or vacation days before receiving workers compensation benefits. Benefits are not paid for the initial week unless an injury results in over 21 days of missed work.
Therefore, an employee may choose to utilize their sick, personal, or vacation days for that particular week. Very few people can afford to go a week or two without pay. If you have vacation or personal time available, it may be a good idea to use it.
What If My Employer Says I Have to Use PTO or Sick Time?
Legally, your employer cannot force you to use PTO instead of paying you the workers’ comp benefits you deserve. If your manager or human resources department tells you that you must use your sick time or vacation time, let them know you plan to speak with your workers comp lawyer and that they’ll be in touch.
Once your employer learns that you have an attorney, there’s a good chance they’ll change their tune. They know they can’t take advantage of your workers compensation attorney.
Temporary Disability Benefits
Temporary total disability benefits are 2/3 of your average weekly wages (AWW). In Florida, your AWW is determined by taking an average of your total income for the most recent thirteen weeks.
It’s important to note that there is a cap on benefits. The maximum weekly compensation rate for work-related injuries and illnesses occurring on or after January 1, 2023, is $1,197.
You can get temporary partial disability benefits if you haven’t reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) but you can work with some restrictions. TPD benefits are 80% of the difference between your earnings with work restrictions and 80% of your pre-injury average weekly wage.
In Florida, you can only collect temporary disability workers compensation benefits for 104 weeks, or two years. Once you reach 104 weeks, you may be entitled to permanent partial or permanent total disability benefits.
Permanent Disability or Impairment
If you’re left with a permanent medical condition or limited function, your doctor will assign an impairment rating. This rating is used to calculate impairment income benefits.
To qualify for permanent total disability benefits, an individual must demonstrate that they are unable to engage in any type of employment within a 50-mile radius of their home. You do not qualify if you’re physically capable of working at least a sedentary job.
Contact Our Attorneys Today for a Free Case Review!
Legally, employers in Florida can’t require employees to use sick or vacation time for workers’ comp time off. However, an employee may choose to do this.
If you have any questions or concerns about your rights or obligations under Florida’s workers compensation laws, it’s always a good idea to consult with an attorney. At Work Injury Rights, we are dedicated to helping people get the full workers comp benefits that they deserve.
We offer a free consultation for new clients, so contact us today at 954-833-5226! Our team speaks English and Spanish.