People who get hurt on the job or get sick because of something work-related often wonder if they can get financial help. You need to know how the Florida workers’ compensation program works so that you can get medical care, lost wages, and other benefits.
A workers’ compensation lawyer who serves Hialeah, FL, can help you find out if you qualify and guide you through the process to receive benefits. Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today at 1-800-747-3733 for your free consultation.
Which Employers Offer Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Almost every employer in the state of Florida has to carry workers’ compensation insurance. The coverage must provide medical care and other benefits for employees who develop work-related illnesses or get hurt on the job.
These employers must carry workers’ compensation coverage:
- Employers who have at least four workers, whether full-time or part-time.
- State or local governments.
- Construction companies with at least one employee.
- Farmers with at least five regular workers or at least 12 seasonal employees who work at least 30 days.
What to Do If Your Employer Is Not on That List
Many of the employers who do not have to participate in Florida’s workers’ compensation program provide a different system of benefits for their employees. Examples include:
- The federal government
- Harbor workers
- Defense contractors
If you fall into one of these categories and you got hurt on the job or developed a work-related illness, you might be eligible for federal workers’ compensation benefits instead of benefits through Florida’s system. The regulations for federal benefits can differ from the state rules. A workers’ compensation lawyer in Hialeah, FL We can answer your questions about federal workers’ compensation and handle your claim for benefits.
Missing the Deadline Could Cost You
When pursuing workers’ compensation in Hialeah, FL, you must pay attention to the deadlines. You only have 30 days to report the illness or accident to your boss. The meter starts to run when the incident happened or a doctor told you that the injury or illness was work-related.
If you miss the deadline, the workers’ compensation system can deny your claim for benefits, even if you have a severe illness or injury. Be sure to contact us right away so that we can help you navigate the process and follow the rules, so that you do not lose the right to compensation.
Make sure that you give written notice of the injury or illness using the correct form with your employer. Do not rely on verbal notice.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The benefits you can receive will depend on the facts of your case. The Florida workers’ compensation system provides three categories of benefits for work-related injuries and illnesses.
Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance must include coverage for:
- Medical treatment
- Physicians (within the plan)
- Physical therapy
- Prescription drugs
- Prosthetic devices
- Diagnostic tests and procedures
You cannot go to your regular doctor if you get hurt on the job or develop a work-related illness. The workers’ compensation insurance will not pay your doctor’s bill. You have to go to one of the physicians on your employer’s approved list. The good news is that, as long as you follow all the rules, the workers’ compensation program will pay 100% of your approved medical bills, with no co-pay or deductible.
There is a little leeway on the approved doctor rule. Your boss can authorize you to go to your regular physician for one visit, but after that appointment, you must use the approved medical providers.
Also, make sure that you disclose to every health care provider that treats you that your illness or injury is work-related. You have to give all treating doctors and facilities the name and contact information of your employer or the workers’ compensation insurance company.
Help with Lost Wages
Your injury or illness might leave you sidelined for a while during recuperation. You might not be able to make as much money for a while because of the medical condition. Some people cannot work at all after a catastrophic work-related injury or illness.
Florida’s workers’ compensation program provides some assistance with these situations, with these four types of benefits:
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD). This benefit pays you between 66 2/3% and 80% of your usual wages, up to the state maximum, if you cannot work at all temporarily while you recuperate.
- Temporary Partial Disability (TPD). You might be able to go back to work with limited duties or hours for a while. If temporary restrictions on your job cause you to earn less than 80% of your previous income, you can collect TPD benefits for up to two years.
- Impairment Income Benefits (IIB). You will reach the point at which your treating physician says that you have recuperated entirely or that you will not get any better. If you have a residual impairment, you will get a rating. The insurer will use this rating to calculate the amount of money you will get for your permanent impairment.
- Permanent Total Disability (PTD). If a work-related illness or injury leaves you unable to ever work again in any line of gainful employment, you can collect PTD benefits.
If you are a qualified survivor of someone who dies because of a work-related injury or illness, you might be eligible for workers’ compensation death benefits. The death must occur within one year of the initial incident or five years of ongoing disability.
The total death benefits cannot be more than $150,000. The benefits can include:
- $7,500 for funeral expenses
- Dependents’ compensation
- Surviving spouse education benefits.
Legal Help for Your Hialeah, FL Workers’ Compensation Case
When the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine handles your workers’ compensation claim, you can relax and focus on your recovery. Our personal injury firm can take care of the rest. The law does not force you to work with a lawyer, but doing so can be a wise decision. One procedural mistake on your part, like missing a deadline, can impact your benefits claim.
Call us today at 1-800-747-3733, for a free consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer in Hialeah, FL.