Thousands of people suffer work-related injuries every year in the state of Florida. Fortunately, the law requires employers in this state to obtain workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their employees. In addition to covering medical expenses for work-related injuries, this insurance coverage also compensates employees for wages they have lost due to their injuries.
If you are injured in the workplace, a Tampa workers’ compensation attorney can help you determine how much your claim is worth. But in the meantime, it’s important to understand how workers’ compensation benefits are calculated so you know what to expect after a workplace injury. Here’s what you need to know to calculate your workers’ compensation pay:
What Are the Different Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Florida?
There are four types of workers’ compensation benefits that are awarded to employees to compensate them for wages they have lost due to work-related injuries. These benefits include:
- Temporary total disability
- Temporary partial disability
- Permanent impairment
- Permanent total disability
The value of your workers’ compensation claim will vary depending on what type of benefits you are awarded. For this reason, it’s important to learn how workers’ compensation pay is calculated for each type of benefit.
How Are Temporary Total Disability Benefits Calculated?
Temporary total disability (TTD) benefits are awarded to employees who cannot perform any type of work due to their work-related injuries. These benefits are only awarded to employees who are still recovering from their injuries, which means they have not reached maximum medical improvement yet.
TTD benefits are equal to two-thirds of your pre-injury average weekly wages, up to the maximum weekly rate established by Florida law. In 2020, this maximum weekly rate is $971 per week.
For example, if your pre-injury average weekly wages were $750, this means your TTD benefits would equal $500 per week. But if your pre-injury average weekly wages were $1,800, you would receive $971 per week. This is because two-thirds of your pre-injury average weekly wages would be $1,200, which is greater than the state’s maximum weekly rate.
How Are Temporary Partial Disability Benefits Calculated?
Your doctor may allow you to return to work with certain restrictions in place while you recover from your work-related injuries. For instance, a doctor may tell you to return to work, but work shorter hours until you are fully recovered. If you are given permission to return to work with restrictions, you may be entitled to temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits.
TPD benefits are only awarded to employees who are earning less than 80% of their pre-injury average weekly wages due to the work restrictions imposed by their treating physician. Furthermore, these benefits are only awarded to workers who have not reached maximum medical improvement yet.
TPD benefits are equal to 80% of the difference between 80% of your pre-injury average weekly wages and your post-injury average weekly wages.
For example, say you were earning $1,000 per week prior to getting injured on the job. Your doctor has authorized your return to work with restrictions. Because of these restrictions, you are only earning $500 per week.
To calculate your TPD benefits, begin by taking 80% of your pre-injury average weekly wages. In this example, 80% of $1,000 is $800. Next, subtract the wages you are earning while working with restrictions, so $800-$500=$300. Then, take 80% of this amount, which is $240. You would be eligible for $240 in TPD benefits in addition to the wages you earn while working with restrictions.
How Are Permanent Impairment Benefits Calculated?
Permanent impairment benefits (PIB) are awarded to employees who have suffered a permanent impairment or loss of functioning due to their work-related injuries. These benefits are not awarded to injured employees until they have reached maximum medical improvement. Once they have reached this stage, they will be evaluated by a physician to assess their impairments and loss of functioning.
PIB are equal to three-quarters of your TTD benefit rate. Remember, TTD benefits are equal to two-thirds of your pre-injury average weekly wages.
For example, say you earned $750 per week prior to your injury. To calculate your PIB rate, take two-thirds of your pre-injury average weekly wages. This would be $500. This is your TTD benefit rate. To get your PIB rate, you will need to multiply this number by 75%. So in this example, the PIB rate would be $500 X 0.75=$375 per week.
If you return to work while receiving PIB, this may affect your benefits. If you return to work, your PIB rate will be reduced by 50% for every week that you earn income that is greater than or equal to your pre-injury average weekly wages. If you are earning less than your pre-injury wages, your benefits will not be affected by your return to work.
How Are Permanent Total Disability Benefits Calculated?
Permanent total disability (PTD) benefits are awarded to employees who are permanently and totally disabled as a result of their work-related injuries. This means they will never be able to return to their pre-injury work or perform any type of work due to their permanent disability.
PTD benefits are equal to two-thirds of your pre-injury average weekly wages up to the maximum weekly rate established by Florida law, which is $971 in 2020.
Get Legal Help From Our Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Have you suffered a work-related injury or illness? Don’t hesitate to seek legal representation from the skilled workers’ compensation attorneys at Carlson Meissner Hart & Hayslett as soon as possible. Our team has represented injured workers in the greater Tampa Bay area since 1971. We have successfully helped countless clients obtain the workers’ compensation benefits they are entitled to by law. Now, let us use our extensive experience, resources, and knowledge to help you reach the best possible outcome in your case.
Call our law office now to schedule a free consultation with our team.