Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Coverage

After sustaining a job injury, it’s normal to have many questions and concerns. Undoubtedly, one of such questions would be, “what cash benefits am I entitled to?” The answer depends on several factors like the seriousness of your injury, your medical care plan, etc. We’ve listed some of the most common types of benefits Florida workers receive after a work-related injury below: 

Medical Benefits 

After sustaining an occupational injury, the wise thing to do is to visit the hospital or see a doctor. Sometimes, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier will choose the health care provider. If you receive treatments, the compensation insurance policy will cover the medical costs. That means the comp coverage includes the medical expenses you would have incurred but for the compensation policy.

Your medical benefits will include doctor’s appointments, prescription drugs, hospital stays, etc. It may include physical therapy and rehabilitation treatments as well as medical equipment like crutches. Usually, your medical benefits will expire when you reach maximum medical improvement or no longer need any form of treatment.

Payment for Lost Wages 

If your injury temporarily or permanently prevents you from working for a period of time, you deserve wage compensation. What you will receive under these types of benefits depends on the kind of disability you suffered. For example, if you had a severe injury that prevents you from working forever, you may receive life-long benefits. The possible disabilities you may endure are: 

  • Temporary Disability Benefits 

When you can’t go to work for some time because of your work-related injury, you’re eligible for temporary disability benefits. Temporary benefits are classified into temporary total disability and temporary partial disability benefits. Under temporary total disability, the injured worker cannot work for the period because of the injury.

Such worker is entitled to two-thirds of their usual wages. However, in temporary partial disability, the employee can work, but their duties are restricted. If such employees can no longer earn up to 80% of their usual wages, they may qualify for temporary partial disability benefits. If they do, they will receive additional benefits.

  • Permanent Disability Benefits

If you’ve reached maximum improvement and still can’t return to work, you’ve reached the eligibility requirements for permanent disability benefits. Permanent disabilities cause life-altering injuries and as such, deserve compensation for life. Usually, this would be two-thirds of your average wages pre-injury and would be paid on a weekly basis.

  • Reemployment Services or Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits 

Sometimes, when the injured workers reach maximum medical improvement, they may not be able to return to their previous jobs. That’s because the injury affected them significantly such that they can no longer function efficiently in their former positions.

Therefore, they may have to seek employment elsewhere and in another industry. When this happens, they may be entitled to vocational rehabilitation benefits or reemployment services. These benefits include costs of learning a new skill, vocational rehabilitation, professional training, etc.

Death Benefits

Some severe work-related injuries can eventually lead to the employee’s wrongful death. In this case, the deceased employee’s family can file a compensation claim against the employer. The employer would have to pay death benefits that covers the funeral costs, education benefits to qualified family members, etc.

The surviving dependents may also receive 66.67% of the deceased employee’s weekly wages up to $150,000 as death benefits. However, to qualify for death benefits, the employee must have died within one year from the accident date. Alternatively, they must have suffered work-related disability for five continuous years.

What Businesses Need Work Comp Insurance in Florida?

Florida workers’ compensation laws mandate certain business owners to have workers’ comp insurance. These are businesses with four or more full-time or part-time employees. Note Florida’s insurance law mandates compensation insurance coverage for persons who fall under the definition of employees only. This does not include independent contractors.

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