How Long Can I Receive Workers Compensation Benefits in Tampa, Florida?

When our Tampa workers comp attorneys first meet with a new client, they always have a ton of questions. Some of them are worried about how much their benefits will be. Others are concerned about how long they’ll receive benefits. Sadly, in Florida, your workers compensation benefits will only last for 104 weeks.

Employees in Florida Only Receive Workers Compensation Benefits for 104 Weeks

Some states, such as Georgia, offer their employees 400 weeks of workers compensation benefits. Unfortunately, in Florida, it’s much shorter than that. In fact, you’re only entitled to 104 weeks of benefits. And that’s only if you qualify for workers compensation benefits.

One of the first things your workers comp lawyer in Tampa will need to do is submit your claim. If your employer hasn’t already taken care of that, your attorney will do that for you. They’ll also want to see what information your employer submitted with your claim.

This Means You Can Receive Weekly Benefits for Two Years

When you first file your claim, you may have no idea how serious your injuries are. Many of our clients are only out for a few weeks or months. A few have been out longer, especially those suffering from back or neck injuries.

The unfortunate truth is that, even with serious injuries, you cannot receive workers comp benefits for more than two years. This is one of the reasons why your Tampa workers comp attorney will work so hard to get your claim settled.

The Two Years Starts the Day You First Miss Work Due to Your Workplace Injuries

When you go out on workers compensation, you have to miss seven days from work before your benefits will start. On the eighth calendar day, your benefits will kick in. You won’t be paid for this first week unless you end up missing twenty-one (21) days.

Once you meet the 21st day, you will receive retroactive payment for the first seven (7) days you missed.

It’s important to remember that your two years will start on the date of your injury. Or, if you don’t realize you’re injured for a week or so, the date on which you go out on workers compensation.

Most of the Clients Our Tampa Workers Comp Attorneys Represent Are Back to Work

One of the reasons our Tampa workers comp attorneys tell our clients not to worry about the 104 weeks is simple. Most of our clients are back to work long before the 104 weeks are up.

Even those employees who aren’t able to return to work don’t wait two years to settle their case. Once it’s clear that they’re permanently disabled, our workers comp lawyers in Tampa work toward settling their claim instead.

Nobody wants to have to sit back and wait for weekly benefits for two years. By then, you should either be back to work or have found a different job that you can physically perform.

workers compensation benefits

It’s Very Rare for an Employee to Collect Benefits for the Full 104 Weeks

In all the years our Tampa workers comp attorneys have practiced, there were very few who collected two years’ worth of benefits. In fact, our associates can probably count on a few hands the number of clients that exhausted their full complement of weekly benefits.

The cases that tend to continue for two years are the ones where the doctors can’t agree on how serious your injuries are. For example, your workers comp doctor may think you’re only 20% disabled. However, your independent doctor may believe that you’re 75% disabled.

While you wait for your workers comp lawyer in Tampa to work things out with the insurance company, you’ll continue to receive benefits. Of course, these cases are few and far between.

Even if Your Injuries Are Serious, Your Workers Comp Lawyer in Tampa Will Settle Your Claim

When our Tampa workers comp attorneys have a client whose injuries are life-changing, they work hard to settle their claim. Rather than let them sit back in limbo for two years, they’ll try to negotiate a settlement.

Once they have an idea of whether you’ll be permanently disabled, they have a starting point for settlement negotiations. For example, if you’re a commercial driver and need knee surgery, you may not be able to work as a driver again.

Once your worker comp lawyer in Tampa confirms this, they’ll know how much to demand from the insurance company.

Your Benefits Will End When You Reach Maximum Medical Improvement

Whether you like it or not, at some point, your doctor will determine that you’ve reached maximum medical improvement. This means that further treatment is of no use. This usually happens when you’ve received the normal course of treatment.

If you are no longer responding positively to treatment, your doctor will recommend that your case be closed. This is when they’ll determine your disability rating.

Eventually You’ll Have to Return to Work or Settle Your Claim

At some point, your case will have to be resolved. Either you’ll exhaust your 104 weeks’ worth of benefits, or your Tampa workers comp attorney will negotiate a settlement. Alternately, the doctors may determine that you’re ready to go back to work long before the 2 years are up.

If you believe your workers compensation doctor is pushing you back to work too soon, make sure you let your workers comp lawyer in Tampa know. They’ll make sure you aren’t forced to go back to work before you’re ready.

Reach Out to One of Our Seasoned Tampa Workers Comp Attorneys 

It would be nice to assume that your employer would take care of you after a workplace accident. Sadly, this isn’t always the case. If you find that your employer has denied your claim, you should contact our office immediately. You can sit down with an experienced Tampa workers comp attorney and find out if your claim is worth pursuing.

If you decide to retain our services, then one of our workers comp lawyers in Tampa will reach out to your employer. They can also contact the insurance company on your behalf. If you have a legitimate workers compensation claim, they’ll make sure you get the benefits you deserve.

Call today and schedule your free, initial consultation.

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