We'll fight for your right to benefits after a workplace injury.
In the State of Florida, workers are entitled to receive workers' compensation after being injured on the job. This monetary compensation is provided through the employer's insurance company, and it's meant to help injured workers pay for medical bills, treatment, prescription medication, rehabilitation and lost wages. However, workers' compensation is not a lifetime payment, so its important to understand your rights as an injured worker and know where to look for help in determining your workers' compensation benefits.
The personal injury and workers' compensation attorneys of Shigo Law Firm, P.A., has the experience and knowledge needed to help you file a workers' compensation claim and receive the benefits you deserve.
Medical Impairment Benefits in Gainesville & Ocala
Each workers' compensation claim in the State of Florida goes under extreme scrutiny, and certain requirements must be met in order for the claimant to receive benefits. While each claim is unique, and each claim is examined separately, the requirements remain the same for workers' compensation claims resulting from traumatic injury, occupational disease or death. One of the ever-important requirements is called Fact of Injury, and it can determine whether or not you are eligible for benefits.
Fact of Injury Process
Two important pieces of information must be confirmed for a claimant's application to be approved.
- Occurrence of Event: The event, accident or reason that the worker was injured will need to be verified. This can be accomplished through evidence gathering, witness statements, and statements from managers or supervisors. An injury can be compensated even if there are no witness, but for a manager or supervisor to discredit a claim requires evidence for support.
- Existence of Medical Condition: It must be determined, based on the opinion of an approved physician, that a medical condition exists that may be related to the incident in question. The relationship between the condition and the incident does not need to be stated on the medical report.
Understanding Impairment Benefits
Once an injured worker has reached the point of Maximum Medical Improvement, he or she may no longer be eligible to receive Temporary Total Disability (TTD) or Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) benefits. Maximum Medical Improvement, or MMI, is a point where a patient's condition is not expected to improve despite medical treatment, or a point at which a plateau has been reached in the treatment process. At this time, there are 3 ways an injured worker could continue to receive benefits. The most obvious is through Permanent Disability Benefits, which we've discussed elsewhere, and the other two include impairment benefits and retraining benefits.
Impairment benefits are awarded to injured workers based on an impairment rating provided by a workers' compensation physician. The injured worker is entitled to 75% of his or her Temporary Total Disability rate for a certain period of time which is determined based on the impairment rating.
- 1-10%: Each percentage entitles injured workers to 2 weeks of impairment benefits.
- 11-15%: Injured workers are entitled to 3 weeks, per percentage in this range, of impairment benefits.
However, impairment benefits may be reduced by 50% if the injured worker is earning his or her average weekly wage.
Retraining benefits are provided to injured workers who are unable to earn at least 80% of the compensation rate. This rehabilitation is provided through the Florida Department of Education and the benefits are provided by the workers' compensation insurance carrier.
Medical Impairment Benefits Attorneys are Here to Help
Receiving workers' compensation benefits can be confusing and the application process can be difficult. Shigo Law Firm's workers' compensation attorneys are available to help you through every step of the process, from evidence gathering and claim filing to appeals and extending benefits. If you've been injured on the job, don't hesitate. Contact our expert attorneys today so you can begin receiving benefits to aid in your recovery.