Most people understand that, when they get hurt on the job, they’ll be entitled to certain benefits. This includes medical care as well as weekly benefits. The question you may have is how the insurance company calculates your weekly workers’ compensation benefits.
Here, we will answer this question for you. We will also discuss how long you can receive benefits and what to do if your benefits are not correct.
Basics of Florida Workers Compensation Benefits
Once your claim is approved, you will be entitled to certain benefits. First, your medical care will be covered. Any medical treatment you may need, as long as it’s related to your workplace accident, will be covered.
You will also be entitled to weekly replacement wages. These benefits do not start until you have missed more than seven days from work. If you miss more than 21 consecutive days from work, you’ll be paid for those first seven days.
Calculating Weekly Workers Comp Benefits
Your weekly benefits will be equal to 2/3 of your average weekly wages (AWW).
Your employer will provide the insurance company with a report showing your last thirteen weeks’ wages. The insurance adjuster will take an average of these wages and multiply it by 2/3. This is what your weekly benefit rate will be.
What Income Is Included?
In Florida, your AWW is determined by taking an average of your total income for the most recent thirteen weeks.
Most types of income are included in this total, such as:
- Base pay/salary
- Paid time off
- Shift differential
- Housing allowance
- Stipends of tools, cell phones, etc.
While your overtime hours are included in your AWW, they are included at the same rate as your regular hours. In other words, while your employer may have paid you time and a half for overtime hours, workers compensation does not weigh these hours at time and a half.
Are Certain Types of Income Not Included?
There are certain types of income that are excluded when the insurance company calculates your AWW.
The excluded wages and income excluded from your AWW calculation include the following:
- Meal reimbursement
- Stipends for uniforms
- Tips and gratuities
- 401K contributions normally made by your employer
There Is a Cap on Weekly Benefits
In Florida, the maximum you can receive in weekly workers comp benefits is $1,197.
What this means is that people who make more than $1,800 per week will not receive a true 2/3 of their AWW. They will only receive this maximum amount of $1,197.
How Long Can You Receive Workers Comp in Florida?
Not only is there a cap on how much you can receive in weekly benefits, but there is also a limit on how long you can receive them. 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. The length of time you may receive permanent partial disability benefits depends on your specific disability. Permanent total disability benefits may continue until you reach age 75.
What if Your Benefits Are the Wrong Amount?
If your benefit rate is not accurate, your workers comp attorney in Tampa will reach out to the insurance company and let them know.
Your attorney will have to submit documentation demonstrating how much your benefits are supposed to be. They will demand that your payment amount be corrected.
Contact Our Office for a Free Consultation
It can be extremely frustrating to learn that your weekly workers comp benefits are incorrect. The good news is that our Florida workers comp lawyers can help. We can also assist you at every stage of your workers’ compensation case, from filing the initial claim to appealing a denial.