You may be eligible for benefits even if you return to work.
Many people who are injured on the job worry that if they return to work, they won't be eligible for benefits. This notion couldn't be further from the truth. The Florida Workers' Compensation Law requires that the employer or workers' compensation insurance company is required to pay benefits to the injured worker, even if the worker is expected to return to work. There are four types of disability benefits that fall under two categories: temporary and permanent.
If you have been injured in a workplace accident, we recommend that you obtain legal representation to help you through the workers' compensation process. Filing a claim, going after benefits, and even seeing an approved physician can become complicated quickly. A workers' compensation attorney, like the experienced attorneys at Shigo Law Firm, P.A., can help you through the process while protecting your rights and ensuring your employer and the insurance company aren't hindering your rights to benefits and compensation.
Temporary Wage Benefits in Florida
There are two types of temporary wage benefits that can be received under the workers' compensation laws in Florida. These are Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits and Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) benefits.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits
TTD benefits are paid by the workers' compensation insurance company that covers your employer, and it requires the approval of an authorized treating physician. Because medical benefits are paid out by the insurance company, employees who are eligible for workers' compensation must go to an approved or authorized doctor. This may mean you cannot see your regular physician. The authorized doctor must find that the worker is completely unable to perform the duties, tasks or responsibilities of their job. This is still considered temporary because many workers will be able to return to at least a minimal level of work in the future, after receiving medical care and treatment.
To calculate the amount of your TTD benefits, you must determine your average weekly wage, multiplied by 66.66%, which equals your Compensation Rate. As this process can be not only confusing, but also involve several variations according to Florida Law, it is best to determine your TTD benefits with an experienced workers' compensation attorney. Shigo Law Firm attorneys are ready and able to go through your past wages to determine your Compensation Rate, so contact our law firm as soon as possible so there are no delays in receiving your benefits.
Temporary Partial Disability Benefits
TPD benefits are a little different than temporary total disability benefits. With TPD, the amount is paid when an authorized doctor has permitted the person to return to work to perform light duties and the employer has work available that meets the criteria of light duties. This must occur before the worker reaches a point of maximum medical improvement (MMI), which is defined as a state where an injured employee's condition will not significantly improve with further medical treatment, or when a treatment plateau has been reached in the healing process. Maximum medical improvement can mean one of two things: that a patient has fully recovered, or that their condition is at a point that improvement is not expected.
Again, calculation of the TPD benefits can be complicated. It is based on the average weekly wage (AWW) that the worker earned prior to injury and is allotted in conjunction with the wages earned while on light duty. The insurance company is required to pay 80% of the difference between 80% of the AWW and the amount earned while working on light duty.
Find a Workers' Compensation Attorney
As you can see, determining your possible temporary wage benefits is no easy task. Your employer and the insurance company have no incentive to ensure that you file your claim correctly or that you receive the maximum treatment and benefits for which you are eligible. That's why it's so important to contact a workers' compensation attorney who has experience in handling temporary wage benefits. At Shigo Law Firm, we've helped workers across Florida file a workers' compensation claim, apply for benefits, and appeal claims that have been denied. If you have been involved in a workplace accident, contact Shigo Law Firm in Gainesville or Ocala so that we can begin your claim as soon as possible. Don't delay your benefits another day!