The workers’ compensation system was established in the state of Florida to provide benefits to workers who sustain work-related injuries or illnesses. Every year, Tampa workers’ compensation attorneys help thousands of workers obtain these benefits. In fact, nearly 60,000 workers’ compensation claims were submitted in Florida in 2019.
If you suffer a work-related injury or illness, it’s important to understand your rights regarding workers’ compensation benefits. It’s also important to know when you should expect to receive your first workers’ compensation check. What type of benefits will you be eligible for after a workplace accident? How quickly will you be compensated? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and more.
What Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
There are three main types of workers’ compensation benefits: medical benefits, wage replacement benefits, and death benefits.
Medical benefits cover an injured worker’s medical care and treatment, whereas wage replacement benefits compensate workers for income they have lost as a result of their injury or illness. Death benefits are awarded to family members who have lost a loved one due to a work-related injury or illness.
What Are the Different Types of Wage Replacement Benefits?
There are four different types of wage replacement benefits:
- Temporary total disability (TTD)
- Temporary partial disability (TPD)
- Permanent impairment (PI)
- Permanent total disability (PTD)
It’s important to understand the differences between these wage replacement benefits so you know what you are entitled to for your injuries.
Both TTD and TPD benefits are only awarded to workers who have not reached maximum medical improvement yet. If you are unable to work at all during your recovery, you may be eligible for TTD benefits. But if you are able to perform work with certain restrictions during your recovery, you may be eligible for TPD benefits. To qualify for TPD benefits, you must be unable to earn more than 80% of your pre-injury weekly wages due to your work restrictions.
TTD benefits are equal to two-thirds of your pre-injury average weekly wages, up to the state’s maximum reimbursement amount. Some workers who have suffered severe injuries may be entitled to TTD benefits that are equal to 80% of their pre-injury average weekly wages.
Calculating TPD benefits is a bit more complicated. 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.
Both TTD and TPD benefits will stop once you have reached maximum medical improvement. At this point, a physician will evaluate your condition to determine if you are entitled to permanent disability benefits.
If you are permanently and totally disabled as a result of your injury or illness—in other words, if you can never work again—you are entitled to PTD benefits through the workers’ compensation system. PTD benefits are equal to two-thirds of your pre-injury average weekly wages, up to the state’s maximum reimbursement amount.
PI benefits are awarded to workers who have suffered a permanent impairment or loss of function as a result of their work-related injury or illness. PI benefits are equal to three-quarters of your TTD rate. Your TTD rate is two-thirds of your pre-injury average weekly wages.
For example, say your pre-injury average weekly wage was $750. In this case, your TTD rate would be $500, which is two-thirds of your weekly wage. Your PI benefit rate would be $375, which is 75% of your TTD rate.
When Will You Receive Your First Workers’ Compensation Payment?
A work-related injury or illness can put a serious strain on your finances. If you are unable to work as a result of your injury or illness, you may be eager to find out when you will receive your first workers’ compensation check.
You should expect to receive your first benefit check within 21 days from the date the insurance carrier was first notified of your claim. This check will typically not cover wage replacement benefits for the first seven days of your disability. In other words, you typically do not start earning wage replacement benefits until the eighth day of your disability. However, you are entitled to wage replacement benefits for the first seven days of your disability if you are disabled for more than 21 days.
Workers’ compensation benefits are paid on a bi-weekly basis. This means after you receive your first check, you should continue to receive checks every two weeks until your benefits are terminated.
The insurance company has a legal obligation to compensate you in a timely manner. If you are not receiving on-time workers’ compensation payments, it’s imperative that you contact an attorney right away. An attorney can protect your rights and ensure you are fully compensated for your work-related injury or illness.
When Will Medical Benefits Start After A Workplace Injury?
The workers’ compensation system provides medical benefits in addition to wage replacement benefits. Unlike wage replacement benefits, these medical benefits will begin immediately after a worker sustains a work-related injury or illness.
The law states that your employer must pay for all authorized medically necessary care and treatment related to your injury or illness as soon as they are made aware of your condition. This means the sooner you report your injury or illness, the sooner these benefits will kick in.
Seek Legal Representation From Our Attorneys After A Workplace Accident
Have you suffered a work-related injury or illness? If so, it’s in your best interest to seek legal representation from the skilled workers’ compensation attorneys at Carlson Meissner Hart & Hayslett as soon as possible. Since 1971, our team of attorneys has been committed to helping clients recover the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve. We know what it takes to help you recover the maximum benefits possible—let us prove it to you.
Call our law office now to schedule a free initial consultation regarding your case with our team today.