What Benefits Are Available To Injured Workers?
Your wage benefits are typically paid at 66 2/3% of your average weekly rate. In Florida, you are not paid for the first seven days of disability unless your lost time extends at least 21 days.
If your injury occurred before October 1, 2003, your “average weekly rate” is based on the 91-day period immediately preceding the date of your injury. If you did not work at least 90% of the 91 day period, your rate is calculated based on the wages of a similar employee in the same employment who did work the entire 91 day period.
If you were injured after October 1, 2003, your “average weekly rate” is determined by using the wages earned in the 13 weeks prior to your injury (not counting the week in which you were injured). If you did not work at least 75% of the 13 weeks, your average weekly wage is calculated based on the wages of a similar employee in the same employment who did work at least 75% of the 13 week period.
You are not taxed on your workers’ compensation checks.
You must make the initial request for medical care. If the employer accepts your request, he will refer you to a physician covered under the insurance plan. If the employer denies your request for medical care, you may seek it on your own and then attempt to recover payment for the initial denial in the workers’ compensation claims process.
Your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier pays for all authorized medical treatment. Florida law requires the employer to furnish medical treatment, care, and attendance for as long as the nature of the injury requires.
Some injuries are presumed to be permanently and totally disabling:
- Spinal cord injury involving severe paralysis of an arm, leg, or trunk
- Amputation of an arm, hand, foot, or leg
- Severe brain or closed-head injury
- Second or third degree burns covering more than 25% of the total body surface
- Third degree burns covering more than 5% of the face and hands
- Total or industrial blindness.
Total disability entitles the worker to benefits until he reaches the age of 75.
Compensation for Death
In case the worst happens, the state laws require that the employee’s family be provided for.
If death results within 1 year of the accident the employer is responsible for paying actual funeral expenses (not exceeding $7,500) and compensation in the following percentages of weekly wages:
- Married, no children: 50% of average weekly wage to spouse.
- Married with children: 50% of average weekly wage to spouse and an additional 16 2/3% to the children.
- Children, no spouse: 33 1/3% of the average weekly wage to each child.
- Dependent parents: 25% of the average weekly wage to each.
- Dependent brothers, sisters, grandchildren: 15% of the average weekly wage to each.
Contact the Law Office of David Benenfeld with your questions about what types of benefits are available to workers who become injured on the job. We offer a free initial consultation.