There is no definitive duration for how long workers’ compensation benefits last in Florida. Benefits can sometimes last for a few days, months, or even years. Workers’ compensation is the money an employer pays to the employee after a workplace accident that resulted in an injury. The amount paid to each individual varies based on how severe the injuries are.
Additionally, the severity of the injuries also determines how long an employee will receive workers’ compensation benefits from the employer. Most people stop receiving these benefits as soon as they return to work. On the other hand, some people continue to receive workers’ compensation benefits after they’ve returned to work. There is also another group of people that receive these benefits for life.
When do You Start Receiving Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Florida?
In Florida, an injured employee can start receiving their compensation benefits eight days after sustaining the injury. Many people who sustain injuries are likely to stay away for a few days and return to work. If an employee sustains an injury that prevents them from returning to their previous job, they can often seek employment elsewhere. The new job could be in the same field or simply something different.
In rare cases, some employees sustain catastrophic injuries that leave them disabled and incapable of returning to their job. In either case, the individual can receive workers’ compensation benefits from the employer. Therefore, employees don’t receive the payments immediately after suffering the injury. Most employers usually use sick leave and vacation time to cover the first seven days after the injury.
On the other hand, if your injury keeps you away from work for 21 days or more, you’ll get workers’ compensation benefits for the time you’ve spent away.
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What Is the Duration for Obtaining Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
No two injuries are ever the same. Therefore, the time an employee receives workers’ compensation benefits usually varies from one individual to another. The most significant determinant is the severity of the injury and how it affects your ability to work again. For instance, someone with a broken arm is likely to receive workers’ compensation benefits longer than another person with a simple fracture. Generally, every type of workers’ compensation has its duration.
Here are various worker’s compensation benefits and how long they last in Florida:
- Temporary disability: The Florida workers’ compensation law states that an injured employee should receive benefits for a minimum of 104 weeks if they have a temporary disability. The employee should remain out of work during this period under a limitation that the given employer cannot accommodate.
- Medical benefits: They usually go on for as long as the injured employee needs them. The only condition for this scenario is that the treatment is for the injury sustained at work or its after-effects. However, the employees must get authorized medical care at least once a year to continue receiving the medical benefits.
- Permanent partial disability: An individual has a permanent partial disability if they have recovered from the injury sustained at the workplace but still have some level of impairment. In such a scenario, once the employee attains maximum medical improvement (MMI), they will still receive impairment income benefits. The payments will go on until the type of disability elapses or until the employee dies.
- Permanent total disability: An injury is considered a permanent total disability if it leads to a lifelong disability. An employee with such a diagnosis is entitled to receive 66.67% of their weekly wages, per Florida Statutes § 440.15. This payment goes on for as long as the employee cannot do any work, even a sedentary job. The employee receives these benefits until they reach age 75 or become capable of working again.
What Happens If the Workers’ Compensation Benefits Is a Lump-Sum Payment?
There are some unique cases where the employer offers the injured employee a lump-sum settlement. If the employee agrees to this settlement, they’ll receive a one-time payment instead of getting benefits every year. Even though Florida provides this, some laws govern how and when such a settlement is possible.
A worker’s compensation lawyer can brief you about these laws and negotiate a fair lump-sum settlement on your behalf.
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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, at least 2.8 million people were injured at their workplaces in 2019 alone. In the same year, 5,333 fatal workplace injuries were reported, with Florida accounting for 306, according to BLS data.
If you’ve recently sustained an injury at the workplace, you deserve to have your employer fully compensate you. At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we can help you build a compelling case for why you should receive fair compensation from your employer. Contact us at 1-800-747-3373 today for a free case review.
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