The duration for which claimants can receive workers’ compensation benefits varies. For most people, benefits last 104 weeks or until they return to their previous job.
Most employees who get hurt on the job miss a few days of work and then return to their job. Even when they cannot return to their previous job, they can often find employment in some other field. In rare cases, catastrophic injuries prevent an injured employee from working any job.
Typical Workers’ Compensation Benefits You Are Entitled to Collect
When you are injured at work, your employer is required to provide you with workers’ compensation benefits until you can return.
Whether your employer was negligent or not, the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) affirms that you are usually entitled to damages for:
- Medical bills for all treatment related to your workplace injury
- Two-thirds of wage replacement for the time you miss at work
- Death benefits if you lost your loved one to the workplace injury
To obtain these benefits, you must notify your employer about your injury within 30 days of its occurrence. Otherwise, the insurance company may not accept your claim. Then, you are left to deal with the related losses on your own.
Filing a lawsuit won’t be an option either, as the program is designed to keep employers immune from this type of legal action. Although, exceptions could apply in extreme cases.
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The Timeline of Obtaining Workers’ Compensation Benefits
According to Florida Statutes § 440.20, Florida workers’ compensation income benefits do not begin until you miss eight days of work. You do not get paid for the first week you miss work, at least not right away. It is typically expected to use vacation or sick leave to cover this time away. However, if you miss 21 days or more, you can receive workers’ compensation pay for the time you missed.
Also, medical care coverage for your injury and related complications can last for the rest of your life or until you reach a settlement with the insurer for a lump-sum payout. You can also continue to draw workers’ compensation benefits in Florida until you reach age 75, in some cases.
Once your income benefits begin, though, you will receive temporary total disability or temporary partial disability payments while you are out of work. These compensate you for a portion of your lost income (total) or a portion of the difference between your current income and your previous income (partial).
Permanent Total Disability Does Not Run Out Until Age 75
Getting permanent total disability requires evidence showing that you are unable to even work a sedentary job. Once you qualify for permanent total disability, it continues until you reach age 75 or until there is evidence that you are capable of returning to the workforce.
With this level of disability, you may also qualify for Social Security Disability, but you may see a reduction in your workers’ compensation benefits.
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Injured Workers May Negotiate Workers’ Compensation Settlements with the Insurer
In many cases, injured workers negotiate a lump-sum settlement with the workers’ compensation insurance company instead of continuing to draw income benefits for years or even decades. There are rules on how and when you can receive a lump-sum, though.
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What a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer on Our Team Can do for You
Workers’ compensation cases can get complicated, especially when the insurance company tries to argue or deny your claim. In this scenario, you may benefit from retaining the services of a workers’ compensation lawyer on our team.
They can help you:
- Gather evidence of the injuries you sustained
- File an appeal if the insurance company denies your claim
- Fight the insurance company if they try to end your benefits or only try to award you partial or temporary disability
- Adhere to deadlines for your appeal or application
- Negotiate a fair settlement
- Argue your case in legal proceedings
Our lawyers can assist you with your case for a contingency fee. That way, you won’t have to pay any upfront, hourly, or out-of-pocket fees. Your lawyer will collect their payment only if they secure a financial award for you.
Turn to Our Attorneys Today for Help with Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
At Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers, our attorneys and staff can simplify the workers’ compensation process for you. We can help you understand how your benefits should work and how long your workers’ compensation benefits should last.
We take on workers’ compensation cases from our 12 offices across Florida. Call us at (855) 529-0269 today to get started with a free case review. At Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers, you will always work with one of our partners directly. Partners and founding attorneys Jason Chalik and Debi Chalik take a hands-on approach to every case. Let our family help yours.
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