Yes, an employer can legally stop your workers’ compensation benefits in Florida according to the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation. The circumstances where this would apply are if you are only temporarily disabled or if you are found physically capable of working.
In the case where you are only temporarily disabled, you would receive temporary total, temporary partial disability, or a combination of the two types of payments for no more than 104 weeks. After that time, the benefits are stopped.
An employee’s permanent total disability payments can be stopped if an employee is found to be physically capable of employment, even sedentary work, within a 50-mile radius of his or her home.
There are a couple of other situations that would stop, at least temporarily, the payment of workers’ compensation benefits:
- If the injured employee refuses employment that they are capable of performing, the employee is not entitled to compensation during the continuance of the refusal.
- If the employee leaves the employer they worked for during the injury and finds new employment, the employee is required to give the former employer an affidavit in writing. That affidavit must contain the name of the new employer and the company name as well as the amount of wages being received. If they fail to do so, the benefits will stop until the affidavit is received.
The Employer’s Right to Conduct Medical Evaluations
According to Florida § 440.15, the employer or insurance carrier has the right to conduct testing or evaluations by the rehabilitation advisor. This right to conduct evaluations includes:
- Instances where evaluations were recommended by the treating physician or an independent physician
- Instances that are justified by a change in the employee’s condition
- Situations where the employee seems to be making improvements
The right to conduct evaluations is limited to once per year. Requests for an assessment must be confirmed in writing, and the employee and the employee’s lawyer must have at least seven days notice.
If the medical expert conducting the evaluation offers testimony that you can return to work, the employer will have the right to terminate your right to workers’ compensation benefits.
Requirements for Florida Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The state of Florida requires employees to meet eligibility requirements to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
- Provide proper notice: to discourage insurance fraud, Florida requires employees to notify their employers within 30 days of an accident to qualify for benefits. If the employee fails to do so, they could lose the right to benefits.
- Receive medical care: it is essential to receive professional medical attention as soon as possible after the incident. If the employee fails to do so, it can be challenging to prove that the injury was the cause of the workplace accident.
- Identify the location of the accident: the employee will need to identify that the accident took place during regular work hours while performing routine work responsibilities.
To reiterate, your employer can legally stop your workers’ compensation benefits in Florida. If your workers’ compensation benefits do not cover the full extent of your damages, or if a third-party is involved in your accident, a lawyer can help you understand your options. Contact the team at Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers at (855) 529-0269 today for a no-obligation review of your case.