The Process of Calculating Wage Replacement in Florida Workers Compensation

If you’ve suffered a work-related injury or illness in Florida, understanding how wage replacement works under the state’s workers compensation system is crucial. This blog will discuss the legal aspects, statutes, and practical considerations related to calculating wage replacement benefits and how a Sarasota workers comp attorney can assist you..

Types of Wage Replacement Benefits

Florida’s workers compensation system provides several types of wage replacement benefits for injured workers. Let’s explore each of these:

Temporary Total Disability (TTD)

When you’re unable to work due to your injury or illness, TTD benefits come into play. You’ll receive 66 2/3 percent of your average weekly wages while recuperating.

Key points about TTD benefits:

  • They are subject to a statewide maximum weekly amount (as of 2024, the maximum is $1,260).
  • You must be unable to work for at least seven days before receiving benefits.
  • The first seven days of disability are not compensated unless you’re out of work for more than 21 days.
  • Severe injuries may qualify you for 80 percent of regular wages for up to six months after the injury.
  • TTD benefits are available for a total of 104 weeks.

Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)

TPD benefits apply when you can return to work with restrictions (e.g., lifting limitations or desk work). You’ll receive 80 percent of your regular wages as TPD benefits. The same maximum benefits total for TTD benefits applies to TPD benefits. TPD benefits are available for up to 104 weeks after your accident.

Permanent Total Disability (PTD)

PTD benefits come into play when you’re permanently unable to work due to a work-related illness or injury. A physician must determine permanent disability after reaching Maximum Medical Improvement.

You must demonstrate that you cannot engage in any employment within 50 miles of your home due to the injury or illness. PTD payments continue until age 75, with a small cost-of-living increase each year until age 62.

Impairment Income Benefits (IIB)

IIB compensates for permanent impairments that do not result in total disability. The amount varies based on the specific impairment rating assigned by a physician.

a lawyer will help you calculate the correct amount for replacement wages

Calculating Average Weekly Wages (AWW)

Determining your AWW is essential for calculating wage replacement benefits. Here’s how it works:

Look Back Period

Florida considers your 13-week gross income immediately before the work accident. This period serves as the basis for calculating your AWW.

Inclusions

Almost all types of compensation count toward AWW, including regular wages, commissions, bonuses, and travel-related expenses (e.g., transportation, uniforms, parking). The insurance company adds up your income from the 13-week period and divides it by 13 to determine the weekly average.

2/3 Rule

According to Florida law, you’re entitled to receive benefits equal to 2/3 of your AWW. Multiply the weekly average by 2/3 to determine your weekly benefit amount.

Maximum Weekly Amount

Florida Statute 440.12 determines the maximum weekly compensation rate injured employees are entitled to. As of 2024, the maximum weekly benefit is $1,260 for injury or illness that has occurred from January 1, 2024. For injuries or illnesses that have occurred during 2023, the maximum weekly amount would have been $1,197.

Irrespective of when the injury occurred, the minimum weekly amount an injured employee will receive per week is $20.

Tax Implications

Are workers comp benefits taxable? The answer is no. Workers compensation benefits are generally not subject to federal income tax. However, consult with a tax professional to ensure compliance with any specific circumstances.

Seek Guidance from a Sarasota Workers Comp Attorney

When it comes to wage replacement, understanding the legal framework empowers you to make informed decisions during your recovery process. For personalized advice, consult a knowledgeable Sarasota workers compensation attorney at Work Injury Rights. We will help you understand your rights, calculate benefits accurately, and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Contact us at 954-324-COMP for a free consultation.

Work Injury Rights
Injured on the Job? Don't Wait, Contact Us Now

We are Florida's leading workers' compensation lawyers.

We'll fight to get you the maximum compensation!