Understanding Temporary Disability Benefits in Florida Workers Compensation

Workers compensation provides wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment. In Florida, the workers compensation system is governed by the Florida Workers Compensation Law. One of the key benefits provided under this law is temporary disability benefits.

This article aims to provide a detailed understanding of these benefits and why you need the help of a Miami workers comp attorney to obtain them.

What Are Temporary Disability Benefits?

Temporary disability benefits are designed to compensate for lost wages when an employee is temporarily unable to work due to a work-related injury or illness. In Florida, these benefits fall into two categories: Temporary Total Disability (TTD) and Temporary Partial Disability (TPD).

Temporary Total Disability (TTD)

TTD benefits are provided when an employee is completely unable to work for a temporary period. The amount of TTD benefits is generally 66 2/3% of the employee’s average weekly wage, subject to a maximum amount set by law.

These benefits are available until the employee can return to work or reaches maximum medical improvement (MMI), which is the stage when the condition cannot be improved further with medical treatment.

Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)

TPD benefits are provided when an employee can return to work but cannot earn their pre-injury wage due to restrictions. The amount of TPD benefits is 80% of the difference between 80% of the employee’s pre-injury wage and the wage the employee is able to earn post-injury.

Like TTD, these benefits are also available until the employee can return to full duty or reaches MMI.

Legal Aspects of Temporary Disability Benefits in Florida

The Florida Workers Compensation Law sets forth specific requirements and procedures for claiming temporary disability benefits. Here are some key legal aspects:

Reporting the Injury

Under Section 440.185 of the Florida Statutes, an injured employee must report the injury to their employer within 30 days. Failure to do so may result in denial of benefits.

Medical Examination

The employer’s insurance company will arrange for a medical examination to determine the extent of disability and the appropriate treatment. The employee must comply with this examination under Section 440.13(5).

find out what types of workers comp benefits you get for temporary disability

Waiting Period

There is a 7-day waiting period before benefits can be received. However, if the employee’s disability extends beyond 21 days, they may receive compensation for the initial 7 days of disability.

Duration of Benefits

Temporary disability benefits can be received for up to 104 weeks, as per Section 440.15(2)(a). After this period, if the employee is still disabled, they may be eligible for permanent disability benefits.

How Can a Lawyer Assist With Temporary Disability Benefits?

A Miami workers compensation lawyer can provide invaluable assistance to employees seeking temporary disability benefits. Here’s how:

Understanding the Law

Workers compensation laws are complex and can be difficult for laypersons to understand. A lawyer can help interpret these laws and explain how they apply to an employee’s specific situation.

Filing the Claim

A lawyer can assist in filing the workers compensation claim, ensuring that all necessary forms are completed accurately and submitted within the required timeframes.

Negotiating with the Insurance Company

Insurance companies often try to minimize the benefits they pay out. A lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company on the employee’s behalf to ensure they receive the maximum benefits they are entitled to.

Representation in Disputes

If the claim is denied or if there are disputes about the benefits, a lawyer can represent the employee in hearings or appeals before the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings, Workers Compensation section.

Protecting Employee’s Rights

A lawyer can help protect the employee’s rights, ensuring they are not discriminated against for filing a workers compensation claim and that they receive all the benefits they are entitled to under the law.

Reach Out to a Miami Workers Comp Attorney

Understanding the legal aspects of temporary disability benefits in Florida Workers Compensation is crucial for employees to ensure they receive the benefits they are entitled to. It is always advisable to consult with a knowledgeable Miami workers compensation attorney at Work Injury Rights to navigate the complexities of these laws and protect your rights. Contact us at 954-324-COMP for a free consultation.