Workplace injuries are extremely common. Even if you don’t work in a particularly dangerous industry, you should know what workers’ compensation insurance covers in Florida. Many people assume that they will get their usual salary if they have to miss work because of a workplace injury and illness. However, it’s not that simple. The amount and type of compensation you get depends on the extent of your injuries and the length of time you are away from work.
Getting workers’ compensation benefits can be difficult so you should consult a Florida workers’ compensation lawyer to help with your claim. This will go a long way in ensuring you get the benefits to which you’re entitled. In the meantime, let’s look at what happens if you can’t work.
Compensation for Lost Wages
If you can’t work as a result of an injury you received on the job, you are entitled to compensation for the wages you lose. Benefits for missed wages fall into four main categories which we’ll discuss below. The type and amount of benefits you get depends on several criteria including the type of injury you received, how it affects your ability to work, and the amount of wages you received.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits
Some injuries result in only a temporary inability to work. If the doctor treating you determines that this is the case in your situation, you’ll be eligible for temporary total disability benefits. These payments are usually two-thirds of your regular weekly wages up to Florida’s maximum weekly rate. The maximum rate for 2021 is $1,011 and these benefits run for up to 104 weeks.
However, some types of injuries qualify for up to 80 percent of the worker’s average weekly wage up to $700 weekly. These benefits can continue for a maximum of six months. Eligible injuries include vision loss and the loss of a limb.
It is important to note that you won’t get compensation for the first seven days away from work unless you have to miss work for at least 21 days.
Temporary Partial Disability Benefits
As you recover from your injuries or illness, the doctor may recommend that you return to work with certain limits on what you can do. If you can only work for shorter hours or take on light duties, and you’re therefore earning less than before, you may be able to get temporary partial disability benefits.
However, you can only get these benefits if you’re earning less than 80 percent of what you made prior to your injury or illness. You can get total partial disability benefits for a maximum of 104 weeks, until you’re able to return to full duty, or until you recover as much as you ever will, whichever happens first.
Impairment Income Benefits
There may come a point when your doctor determines that you’ve recovered as much as you ever will (maximum medical improvement). You may be eligible for impairment income benefits if you’re left with a functional, physical or mental impairment. Your physician will assign you a permanent impairment rating that measures the extent of your disability.
Income impairment benefits are usually two-thirds of the average weekly temporary total disability benefits you earned. The length of time you get them is dependent on the circumstances surrounding your impairment.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits
If your injuries are so severe that you’ll never have the ability to work again in any capacity, you may be eligible for permanent total disability benefits. This often happens after serious injuries such as brain injuries, paralysis, complete blindness, and serious burns.
These benefits are the equivalent of two-thirds of your average weekly wage up to Florida’s maximum weekly wage. You will receive these benefits for as long as you are disabled.
Get Help From a Florida Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you’ve suffered a workplace injury, you may have to take time off to recover. If your injuries are severe, you may not be able to resume your previous duties. You deserve to be compensated for your lost wages. Since the benefits will never fully cover the amount you’ve list, you need to make sure you get the full amount to which you’re entitled.
That’s why it’s a good idea to hire a workers’ comp attorney in Florida to look after your interests. You don’t need to wait until your claim is denied or you’re awarded an inadequate amount of benefits to get legal advice. You have the right to contact an attorney as soon as you suffer a workplace injury or get diagnosed with an occupational disease. Contact the team at Work Injury Rights today to schedule a consultation.