For some reason, many part-time workers think they are not considered real employees for purposes of workers compensation. They assume that if they didn’t qualify for full-time benefits, then they don’t qualify for workers comp benefits either.
However, regardless of whether you work 10 hours a week or 50, you may be entitled to workers comp benefits. It all depends on whether you meet the criteria for workers comp. Our Tampa workers comp lawyers have represented both full-time and part-time employees. We understand that workers comp benefits are important to you, regardless of how many hours you worked.
Here, we’ll explain which categories of employees are legally entitled to workers comp benefits. We will also briefly touch on what the requirements are for workers compensation in Florida. Finally, we’ll describe the ways in which a workers compensation attorney in Tampa can help. If, in the meantime, you have questions about your own case, give us a call. We’ll gladly schedule your free consultation over the phone. Or, if you prefer, you can schedule your own appointment through our website.
Most Employees Are Entitled to Workers Comp Benefits in Florida
For the most part, almost all workers in Tampa, Florida are entitled to workers compensation benefits. As long as you meet certain criteria, there’s no reason why your employer should deny you these benefits. Of course, as with most other programs, there are certain categories of workers who are not entitled to workers comp benefits. These include, but are not limited to the following:
- Seasonal workers
- Casual and temporary workers
- Agricultural workers
- Domestic workers
- Railroad workers
- Federal employees
As long as you don’t fall into one of these categories, there’s a good chance you’ll qualify for workers comp benefits.
Workers Compensation Covers Both Full-time and Part-Time Employees
As briefly mentioned above, it doesn’t matter whether you’re full-time or part-time. All workers are entitled to workers comp benefits. As long as you meet the basic criteria, your claim should be approved. The major difference between full-time and part-time workers is that your weekly replacement wages will be much lower.
According to Florida law, while on workers comp benefits, you’re entitled to 2/3 of your average weekly wages. For someone who works full-time and makes approximately $1,000 per week, they’ll receive $666 per week. However, since you work part-time, you probably only make about half of this (or less.) For example, if you normally make $400 per week, your weekly benefits will be approximately $264. It is all relative. It’s not that you aren’t as important as a full-time employee. It’s just that your average weekly wages are a lot less than they are for a full-time worker.
Your Tampa Workers Comp Lawyer Must Still Prove You Qualify for Benefits
Now that we have established that part-time employees are entitled to workers comp benefits, it’s time to discuss how you qualify for these benefits. In Florida, as in most other states, you must meet certain requirements to qualify for workers comp benefits. Some of these include:
- Your accident must have taken place on company time and on company property
- You must report your accident to management or human resources immediately
- You must agree to take a drug test prior to treatment
- You must only be seen by a state-approved, workers compensation doctor
- You must comply with your doctor’s treatment protocol
- You cannot work at another job while collecting workers compensation
- You must not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of your workplace accident
These criteria are pretty clear. In order to deny your claim, your employer must cite one of these requirements. For example, if you didn’t report your injuries to your employer, your claim will be denied. The same is true if you test positive for drugs. No company is going to pay out workers comp benefits to an employee who was drunk or high at the time of their accident.
Your Tampa Workers Comp Lawyer Will Make Sure Your Medical Care is Covered
As important as your weekly replacement wages are, your medical care is just as important. Nobody can afford to pay for their own medical care out of pocket. Even if your private health insurance carrier covers your immediate medical treatment, they’ll expect to be reimbursed. You’ll have to divulge that your injuries were work-related in order to be treated. Once your insurance company sees this, they’ll demand that workers comp reimburse them for any care already covered.
Even as a part-time employee, you are still entitled to medical coverage under workers comp benefits. If your employer gives you a hard time about this, let your Tampa workers comp lawyer know. They’ll reach out to your employer and their insurance carrier to find out what the issue is. Once they realize you’re represented by a seasoned attorney, they should do the right thing. If they still refuse, your lawyers will have no problem filing suit on your behalf.
Your Workers Compensation Attorney in Tampa Will Make Sure Your Claim is Handled Properly
Even if you’re a part-time employee, there’s a chance your employer will try to deny your workers comp benefits. In fact, they’re probably more likely to do this if you don’t work full-time. they assume you’ll just accept the denial and walk away. They figure it’s easy to replace a part-time employee. What they don’t realize is that your workers compensation attorney in Tampa won’t let this happen.
We’ll do whatever we can to fight back on your behalf. If we feel you have a valid claim for workers comp benefits, we’ll reach out to your employer and their insurance company. Once they find out you’re represented by a workers compensation attorney in Tampa, they’ll probably change their tune.
We recommend that anyone who suffers a workplace accident contact a local attorney right away. You are entitled to workers comp benefits, and it isn’t fair that your employer would deny you these benefits. Not only should your medical care be covered, but you should receive your weekly replacement wages as well. Since we do offer our new clients a free, initial consultation, you have nothing to lose. You already know your employer has a team of lawyers working for them and you should too.