Most people go through their entire lives without ever getting hurt at work. However, there are times when you suffer a workplace accident that puts you out of commission for a while. When this happens, you’ll have to find a way to live on what you receive every week in workers comp benefits. Our Orlando workers compensation attorney meets with clients all the time who worry about how they’ll pay their bills while they’re out of work. They hear that they’re only going to receive 2/3 of their average weekly wages. This scares them which is only natural. However, your workers compensation benefits are not taxed. This means that, for the most part, you’ll clear as much as you would have if you were working full time.
The problem is when your workers comp benefits are not calculated the right way. It’s hard enough getting by on what they pay you. It’s even worse if your employer doesn’t include all of your income when they determine how much your weekly benefits should be. If this happens, you owe it to yourself to call a workers comp lawyer in Orlando, Florida. We’ll do our best to get the problem fixed so you can focus on what’s important – getting better so you can return to work.
Your Weekly Benefits are Determined Based on Your Average Weekly Wages
If you go out on workers compensation, you have no choice but to put your faith into the hands of your employer. If they don’t do the right thing when it comes to your workers comp benefits, it will be a very difficult time for you. The way your weekly benefits are calculated is quite simple. All you do is take your income for the last 52 weeks and add it up. Then, you take the total and divide it by 52 to get your average weekly wages. This amount is supposed to include any income you receive from your primary job.
So, if you normally make 52,000 per year, your average weekly wages would be $1,000. You multiply that by 2/3 and you get $666 per week. If your benefit rate doesn’t seem to be right, you should call our office right away. Your Orlando workers compensation attorney will see what they can do to get the matter resolved right away.
Your Employer Must Include All Sources of Income for Purposes of Workers Comp
When your employer (or the insurance company) are calculating your weekly benefits, they’re supposed to include all sources of income. For example, if you are a salesperson who earns commissions on your sales, then this money should be considered income for the purpose of determining your benefits. The same is true if you get monthly bonuses. For example, people who work in certain industries, such as collections, have monthly goals to hit. If they hit or exceed their goal, they get a monthly bonus. This money should also be included for purposes of workers compensation. If you don’t believe your employer included this money, let us know.
Our Orlando workers compensation attorney will find out what information your employer used when calculating your weekly benefits. If we find that they didn’t include income that rightfully should’ve been included, we’ll let you know. We’ll also demand that your employer fix the issue right away. If you notice that the issue is still going on a week or two after we talk to your employer, we may have to take more serious action.
You’re supposed to be able to live on whatever you’re receiving in the form of benefits. If you’re not getting your full 66%, there’s a problem. Just keep in mind – there is a weekly cap on how much you can receive in workers compensation benefits. In Florida, the maximum amount you can receive in weekly benefits is $1,099. If your income falls above that cap, you wouldn’t receive the full two-thirds.
If Your Benefits are Not Correct, Your Orlando Workers Compensation Attorney Can Intervene
When you go out on workers compensation in Florida, you won’t start receiving weekly benefits for a week or two. It typically takes anywhere from 10 to 14 days for your claim to be approved. Your benefits won’t kick in until this happens. Once you get your first benefit check, you’ll know how much you’re going to receive. As explained above, it’s supposed to be equal to 2/3 of your average weekly wages. You should receive some sort of paperwork with your first payment explaining this. If you believe the amount is too low, you should call our office immediately. It can take some time to resolve these issues and you don’t want to waste any time.
Rather than Risk This from Happening, Contact a Workers Comp Lawyer in Orlando, Florida right from the Start
If you want to make sure your workers’ compensation claim is handled properly from the start, you should talk to a Orlando workers compensation attorney. Many of our clients come to see us within days of their workplace accident. They know that they’re at a disadvantage when it comes to their employer and their insurance carrier. Rather risk getting taken advantage of, they come to see us and find out what their options are. We offer new clients a chance to come in and talk to us free of charge. This way, we can answer any questions you may have. It also gives our Orlando workers compensation attorney a chance to see if your case is worth pursuing.
The bottom line is that your employer should include all of your income when calculating your workers’ comp benefits. If this doesn’t happen, you need to call us right away. We’ll reach out to your employer, or the insurance adjuster handling your claim and find out what’s going on. You don’t want to let this go on for too long. Every week that your benefits are short is money out of your pocket. Even if your Orlando workers compensation attorney is able to get the issue rectified, there’s no guarantee that you’ll receive retroactive pay.
We suggest that you call our office today and schedule your free, initial consultation. With so much at stake, you don’t want to try to handle this on your own.