Workers who suffer job-related injuries or illness in Florida may be eligible to recover benefits that cover a portion of their lost wages. The benefits can be available on a temporary or permanent basis. The amount is based on a percentage of what the worker was paid prior to going on workers’ compensation. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for an employer or their insurance company to dispute the facts of a case or the extent of a worker’s disability.
Workers’ compensation claims attorney Frank M. Eidson can help if your claim for lost wage benefits is disputed. He has decades of experience in this area of the law and a record of helping workers to obtain the lost wage benefits they deserve.
To learn more, contact Frank M. Eidson, P.A., today and arrange for a free consultation about your case. Our firm serves clients throughout Winter Park, Orlando and other areas in Central Florida.
Florida Workers’ Compensation for Temporary or Permanent Disability
Florida’s workers’ compensation system pays lost wage benefits that, in most cases, equal two-thirds (66.6 percent) of the injured or ill worker’s weekly pay prior to their injury or illness. This amount is not to exceed the average weekly wage in Florida.
Lost wage benefits are paid after a worker has been out of work for seven calendar days. Once the worker has been out of work for more than 21 days, he or she can receive benefits for the first week of missed work.
Payment checks are sent bi-weekly (every other week) and should begin about 21 days after the employer’s insurance carrier is notified of the worker’s injury or illness.
Lost wage benefits are allowed for either temporary or permanent disability. They include:
Temporary Total Disability Benefits – These benefits continue until the worker returns to work or reaches maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI occurs when the treating physician determines that an injury or illness has healed to the extent that further improvement is not likely. This may or may not be a full recovery.
Temporary Partial Disability Benefits – These benefits are paid to a worker who (1) has returned to work with duty restrictions but has not reached MMI and who (2) earns less than 80 percent of their pre-injury pay. These benefits are paid for a maximum of 104 weeks (two years), or until MMI is determined.
Permanent Impairment Benefits – A worker may be eligible for these benefits if an injury or illness causes physical, psychological or functional loss that will continue after MMI. A doctor will assign a permanent impairment rating, expressed as a percentage of disability to the body as a whole. Impairment ratings are based on a uniform permanent impairment rating schedule developed by the state. Impairment benefits are three-fourths (75 percent) of the employee’s weekly pay up to the state average. They are intended to be lifelong payments.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits – These benefits are allowed when injuries leave a worker permanently and totally disabled and unable to do any kind of work for money. The employee must establish that he or she is not able to engage in any employment available within 50 miles of home or has certain injuries that are automatically considered totally disabling such as loss of an arm or leg, paralysis, total blindness or severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). These are intended to be lifelong payments.
An Attorney’s Role When Lost Wage Benefits Claims are Disputed
To obtain workers’ compensation benefits, an injured worker must see a doctor provided by their employer’s workers’ compensation insurer. This doctor decides the extent of the worker’s injury or illness and related disability. The insurer’s doctor also decides whether the worker has reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) and/or can return to work.
Typically, disputes arise either before benefits are awarded, or at some point when the doctor decides an injured employee is ready to return to work.
As the injured or ill employee, you can appeal any rulings pertaining to your workers’ comp claim. This requires providing evidence, testimony and/or witnesses before a judge in a hearing. Your employer’s insurer can provide their own evidence and testimony and question your witnesses.
Contact an Orlando Workers’ Compensation Lost Wages Benefits Attorney
If a Florida employer is disputing your eligibility for workers’ compensation lost wage benefits, contact Frank M. Eidson, P.A. Our law firm will protect your rights and work hard to pursue the benefits you need due to your work-related injury or illness.
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If you have been injured in an accident, turn to Frank M. Eidson P.A. Whether your case is a simple collision or a complicated auto wrongful death case, contact personal injury lawyer Frank Eidson today to schedule your free consultation.