Every Lakeland, FL business with at least four employees is required by law to provide workers’ compensation insurance. It can protect employees from lost wages and expensive medical bills when used properly. Unfortunately, it often leads to enmity between workers, employers, and insurance providers.
Big businesses tend to care more about their bottom line than they do for the well-being of their employees. Getting injured on the job represents a financial loss for the business and they may try their best to avoid complete compensation. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provides you with the workers’ compensation benefits in Lakeland you need to help you through the injury sustained while working.
You can rest assured that those big businesses and insurance providers have a legal team working to find loopholes and mitigate losses. You deserve to have your own expert legal representation as well. The workers’ compensation lawyers here at the Florida Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition are here to help. That’s why we’ve compiled this information covering important workers’ comp topics like income limits, types of benefits, and Florida tax guidelines.
Unlike those other businesses, we always put the needs of our clients first. We understand just how devastating a workplace injury can be. Our lawyers have been in business for a long time and we’ve faced all variety of legal tactics. We strive to bring things to a peaceful and acceptable resolution, but we aren’t afraid to be aggressive for our client’s needs. If you’ve recently filed a workers’ compensation claim, then call our office 24/7 at (786) 249-7999 and we’ll be there to help.
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Florida Workers’ Compensation Income Limits
Florida Statute Chapter 440 outlines several key terms and figures, including the maximum weekly compensation. The final amount you receive may vary slightly depending on the type of benefits you receive. However, these values are often taken from the same calculation with the same maximum limit.
The maximum weekly amount you can receive from workers’ compensation changes each year. It is calculated in November using the Florida average weekly wage that is paid by employers who qualify for Florida Unemployment Compensation Law. The current weekly maximum in the state of Florida is $1,011.07.
Types Of Florida Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The required Florida workers’ comp benefits are made available in three categories:
- Medical Benefits
- Death Benefits
- Lost Wages/Monetary Compensation
Medical benefits will provide you with access to medical treatment through the use of the company’s insurance provider. That coverage should include a primary doctor and specialist, all necessary treatment and care, and reimbursement for travel to medical care. This does include visits with a private doctor. It must be a doctor who is authorized by the insurance provider.
Death benefits can vary, but there is a state maximum of $150,000 in Florida. These funds are intended to cover funeral expenses, education benefits for the spouse, and compensation provided to any dependents.
The final category is where we encounter weekly workers’ compensation benefits that are paid to the injured worker. These benefits can be further broken down into four different groups. Which group is applicable to your situation is dependent on the injury and your current treatment progress.
The groups are:
Temporary Total Disability Benefits In Florida Workers’ Comp(TTD)
TTD benefits are applied to employees who are unable to return to work due to their injury. They are a temporary form of benefits and cannot be received for a period longer than 104 weeks. They may also come to an end when a physician determines that you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). You cannot receive TTD benefits for the first 7 days of your disability unless that disability lasts for more than 21 days.
Benefit checks for TTD cases are paid on a bi-weekly schedule. The amount is most often equal to 66.67 percent of your average weekly rate. The maximum compensation amount is determined according to the year of the accident. For example, if it occurred in 2021, then the maximum weekly limit is $1,011. If it occurred in 2020, then the maximum would be $971.
There are some injuries classified as “severe” that have a slightly higher benefit payment. In those cases, the benefit payment for the first 6 months may be as high as 80 percent of your average weekly rate. Severe injuries include a complete loss of limb or loss of vision.
Temporary Partial Disability Benefits In Florida Workers’ Comp (TPD)
TPD benefits are applicable in cases where the employee is able to return to work after the injury but in a limited capacity. This often happens when an injury causes physical restrictions. For example, your physician may restrict the number of hours you are able to work in a week or limit the type of work that you do. As with TTD benefits, you may also receive TPD benefits for a maximum of 104 weeks or until your physician provides you with an MMI declaration.
TPD benefits are only available if you are earning less than 80 percent of your previous average weekly rate. The amount you receive is calculated according to your previous earnings and your current earnings. It is intended to supplement your current income to compensate for your injury.
Impairment Income Benefits In Florida Workers’ Comp (IIB)
Also known as Permanent Partial Disability(PPD), these benefits are available after receiving an MMI diagnosis from a physician. After receiving an MMI declaration your physician will also provide you with a permanent impairment rating. The duration of the benefits varies according to the PIR percentage.
For example, a PIR at 21 percent will allow for six weeks of benefits checks. The amount of the checks is equal to 75 percent of the previous weekly income if the employee has not returned to work. If they have returned to work and earn as much as their previous rate, then that percentage can drop by 50 percent.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits In Florida Workers’ Comp (PTD)
This final group applies to workers who suffer from injuries so severe that they are unable to return to work. They must be able to show that they cannot receive employment within a fifty-mile radius. The requirements for receiving PTD benefits are very strict and approval can be difficult to receive in a populated area with plenty of job opportunities. Employees who are qualified for PTD will receive benefits until they’ve reached 75.
How Are Florida Workers Compensation Benefits Calculated?
The key factor in calculating compensation benefits is your average weekly wage(AWW). Each of the categories above pays some percentage of your AWW for the duration of the benefits. Your AWW is calculated using payment information from the 13 weeks before the injury occurred. If you did not work for at least 3/4ths of the previous 13 weeks, then the AWW of an employee in the same company and similar position will be used instead.
Are Florida Workers Compensation Benefits Taxed?
No. Florida Workers Compensation Benefits are not normally taxed. You will; however, pay taxes on any wages that you earn from employment during the period while receiving benefits. For example, if you return to work while receiving Temporary Partial Disability benefits, then you will continue to pay taxes on those wages even if they are limited.
Call Our Lawyers Today for Help Understanding Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Lakeland
Florida law makes it easy to calculate how much you will be owed and for how long you will receive benefits. Your physician will provide you with the necessary records to demonstrate whether you are applicable for any of the benefits listed above. If the insurance provider intends to dispute those claims, then we advise working with a Florida workers’ compensation lawyer. Take a moment to contact our office any time of day at (786) 249-7999 if you need help with your workers’ comp claim.