Workers’ compensation benefits serve as a crucial safety net for employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses, providing financial support and medical care during their recovery process. Understanding how Florida workers comp benefits are calculated can be complex. This article explains key facts you should know.
Our attorneys at Work Injury Rights are here to help you get the full benefits you deserve.
The Basics of Florida Workers Comp Benefits
In Florida, workers comp benefits are calculated based on several factors, including the nature and severity of the injury, the employee’s average weekly wage, and the statutory guidelines established by state law. While the specific details may vary, there are general principles that govern the calculation process.
Average Weekly Wage (AWW)
The first step in calculating workers comp benefits in Florida is determining the injured employee’s average weekly wage (AWW). The AWW is typically calculated based on the worker’s earnings in the 13 weeks leading up to the date of the injury. This includes wages, salaries, commissions, bonuses, and other forms of compensation earned during that period.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD) Benefits
For employees who are temporarily unable to work due to a work-related injury or illness, Florida workers’ compensation provides temporary total disability (TTD) benefits. These benefits are calculated at a rate of 66 2/3% of the employee’s AWW, subject to maximum and minimum limits established by state law.
If you have certain severe injuries, you may be entitled to 80% of your regular wages for up to 6 months after the accident.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) Benefits
In cases where an injured employee can return to work in a limited capacity or with restrictions that result in reduced earnings, they may be eligible for temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits. TPD benefits are calculated at 80% of the difference between the employee’s pre-injury wage and their post-injury earning capacity, subject to statutory maximum and minimum limits.
Permanent Impairment Benefits
Employees who sustain permanent impairments or disabilities as a result of a work-related injury may be entitled to permanent impairment benefits. These benefits are determined based on the severity of the impairment, as assessed by a qualified medical provider.
If you retain some ability to work, the doctor will assign an impairment. This is represented as a percentage and will determine the duration of your permanent impairment benefits.
The weekly benefits will equate to 75% of your temporary total disability rate (up to the legal maximum). However, if your earnings match or exceed your pre-injury income, this amount will be halved.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits
If your doctor says you can’t work anymore, not even at a desk job, because of a lasting disability, you can get permanent total disability benefits. The rate for these benefits is the same as temporary total disability benefits. You’ll keep getting them until you’re 75 years old or for your whole life if you are not eligible for Social Security benefits.
Some very serious injuries, like losing an arm or leg or having a bad brain injury, automatically mean you can’t work anymore, and you’ll get these permanent total disability benefits.
In cases where an injured employee is unable to return to their previous job due to the nature of their injury or disability, they may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services. These services are designed to help injured workers develop new skills, receive job training, and secure employment in a suitable occupation.
In the tragic event that a worker dies as a result of a work-related injury or illness, their dependents may be entitled to death benefits under Florida workers’ compensation law. These benefits typically include compensation for funeral expenses and ongoing financial support for surviving dependents, such as spouses and children.
Get Experienced Help With Your Claim!
Navigating the intricacies of Florida workers comp benefits calculation can be challenging for injured workers. Understanding the factors that influence benefit determination, such as average weekly wage, disability status, and statutory guidelines, is crucial for ensuring that injured employees receive the assistance they need to recover and return to work.