Workers’ compensation serves as a vital safety net for employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses, providing financial assistance and support during their recovery. In Florida, like in many other states, workers’ compensation laws aim to protect workers by ensuring they receive proper medical care and compensation for lost wages resulting from workplace accidents.
Understanding who is eligible for workers’ compensation in Florida is crucial for employees to navigate the system effectively and receive the benefits they deserve. Our Florida workers’ compensation lawyers explain the key facts you need to know.
Who Is Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?
In Florida, most employers with four or more employees are required to provide workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. This coverage extends to a wide range of workers, including the following.
- Full-time Employees: Workers who are employed on a full-time basis, whether they are permanent, temporary, or seasonal employees, are generally covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
- Part-time Employees: Part-time employees are also eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in Florida, provided they meet the criteria established by state law.
- Seasonal employees: Seasonal workers are eligible for workers’ compensation if they are employees instead of independent contractors.
Employees Who May Not Be Covered
While most employees are covered by workers’ compensation in Florida, there are some exceptions. Certain categories of workers may be exempt from coverage.
Independent contractors are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. However, some workers deemed “independent contractors” by employers fit the legal criteria for being “employees” entitled to workers’ compensation.
It’s wise to discuss your situation with a qualified Florida workers comp lawyer to find out if you qualify for benefits.
Some Business Owners and Corporate Officers
Officers of a corporation and members of limited liability companies who meet certain criteria can exclude themselves from workers’ compensation by filing for an exemption.
Federal employees are generally covered under a separate workers’ compensation system administered by the federal government, rather than the state of Florida.
Coverage for Specific Industries
Some industries may have unique requirements or exemptions regarding workers’ compensation coverage in Florida.
Construction workers face a higher risk of workplace injuries due to the nature of their work. As such, construction companies in Florida are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, regardless of the number of employees they have.
Employees who work in maritime industries, including shipping, fishing, and offshore drilling, may be covered under federal maritime laws rather than Florida’s workers’ compensation system.
Coverage must be provided by employers with six (6) regular employees; and/or twelve (12) seasonal workers who work more than 30 days during a season and/or more than a total of 45 days in the same calendar year.
Injuries Covered by Workers’ Compensation
In Florida, workers’ compensation benefits are available for a wide range of work-related injuries and illnesses.
Injuries resulting from workplace accidents, such as slips, falls, and machinery malfunctions, are typically covered by workers’ compensation. The injury must have occurred while you were performing job-related duties or tasks.
Accidents that happen during lunch breaks or while driving to and from work are usually not covered, but there are exceptions. Florida workers’ compensation does not pay benefits if your accident was caused by drug use.
Workers who develop illnesses or health conditions as a result of their jobs, such as repetitive stress injuries, occupational diseases, or exposure to toxic substances, may also be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Aggravation of Pre-Existing Conditions
Workers who aggravate pre-existing conditions or injuries while performing job duties may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, provided they can demonstrate that the aggravation occurred in the course of employment.
In many cases, employees who are attacked by coworkers, customers, or others while performing their jobs are eligible for workers’ comp benefits. You can read our earlier blog post for more information about workers’ compensation for workplace violence.
Call Work Injury Rights for a Free Consultation Today
Workers’ compensation laws in Florida are designed to protect employees by providing them with financial assistance and support in the event of a work-related injury or illness. If you have questions about whether you are eligible, it’s essential to reach out to a qualified attorney.
Our Florida workers’ compensation lawyers are here to help you get the benefits you deserve after an injury on the job. Contact Work Injury Rights today at 954-833-5226 for a free consultation to discuss your case.