Wage Payments

Florida

If your injury prevents you from working, you may qualify for lost-wage compensation. The amount of money you receive is based on the severity of your injury. In most cases it is a percentage of your average weekly wage (AWW), which is based on the wages you earned during the 13 full weeks prior to your accident.

Lost-wage compensation is subject to a seven-day waiting period. This means that for the first seven calendar days of your claim, you will not be paid immediately. If you are out of work for more than 21 calendar days, you will then be paid for the seven-day waiting period. Wage benefits are paid every other week.

Keep in mind that there is a maximum weekly benefit mandated by the state. This number depends on your date of accident and changes periodically, so check with your adjustor.

Below are the most common types of wage benefits and the methods used to calculate them. If your claim is classified in one of the categories below, your benefits will be paid as described. Because Florida’s workers’ comp law provides for many different scenarios, this is not an all-inclusive list. Depending on your situation, your claim may provide you with different benefits.

Temporary Total Disability

This means you are completely disabled, but are expected to fully recover and return to work. In this instance, you will receive 66⅔ percent of your AWW. (In rare cases, an extreme injury may allow for higher benefit payments.) You may receive benefits in this category for up to 104 weeks. At 104 weeks, your claim may be reclassified as a permanent disability.

Temporary Partial Disability

In this case, you are still limited by your injury, but are able to work in some capacity. If you return to work, your workers’ comp benefits will be adjusted based on what you are able to earn after your injury, but will not exceed 66⅔ percent of your AWW.

Permanent Partial Disability

Normally, permanent partial disability means that you are permanently disabled, but still able to return to work in some capacity. To qualify for permanent partial disability benefits, you must either reach 104 weeks of total temporary disability, or your doctor must determine that you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) and have a permanent impairment related to your work injury.

MMI means that you are in the best physical state that you can reasonably be expected to reach, given your medical condition. If your doctor assigns you a permanent impairment rating, your benefits will be calculated using this rating. Also, once your condition is classified as a permanent partial disability, you will be responsible for a $10 co-pay for all injury-related medical services from that point forward.

Permanent Total Disability

This means that you are completely disabled, as defined by state statute, and are not able to return to work in any capacity. In this case, workers’ comp will normally pay you 66⅔ percent of your AWW until you reach age 75. (This age limit may be extended if you are not eligible for social security benefits.)

Death Benefits

If a worker dies as a result of a work-related accident, dependent family members may receive workers’ comp benefits. Families are eligible for a one-time funeral expense payment up to $7,500. And, wage benefits up to $150,000 may be available. Normally, a surviving spouse will receive 50 percent of the deceased employee’s AWW. An additional 16⅔ percent may be paid if there are dependent children in the home. Summit claims adjustors specially trained in these types of claims will work with the employer to determine what benefits are due.

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