If you get hurt at work in Florida, you will probably be eligible for workers compensation benefits. It all depends on the circumstances surrounding your accident and whether you qualify for workers compensation. If you are approved, you’ll receive three different types of benefits. Obviously, your medical treatment will be covered by workers comp. You’ll also be entitled to receive weekly replacement wages. Finally, you may be entitled to career rehabilitation or training. Your workers compensation attorney in Florida will make sure you receive the benefits you deserve.
Of course, you may wonder how your wages are calculated. Most states go back 52 weeks to determine your average weekly wages for workers compensation purposes. In Florida, they do things a little differently. Here, we will explain how your weekly wages for workers compensation are calculated. We will also explain what the maximum weekly benefits are. Finally, we’ll explain whether your workers comp benefits are taxable.
If you happen to have any questions about your workers comp case, don’t hesitate to give us a call. You can schedule your free, initial consultation with a workers compensation attorney in Florida over the phone or through our website.
Workers Compensation Only Pays 2/3 of Your Average Weekly Wages
As you probably already know, when you’re out on workers compensation you do not receive your full pay. It doesn’t matter if you are an hourly worker or a salaried employee, you’ll still be entitled to the same benefits. According to Florida law, you’re only entitled to receive benefits equal to 2/3 of your average weekly wages. You may wonder what is considered wages for workers compensation purposes.
In Florida, almost all types of compensation are included for calculation purposes. For example, if you receive a commission or bonus on top of your normal rate, it will be included for purposes of determining your average wages. The same is true for any travel related expenses such as transportation, uniforms, or parking.
What will happen is the insurance company will go back 13 weeks and add up all the income you received during that period. They’ll take this amount and divide it by 13 to come out with a weekly average. Whatever this average is, you’ll want to multiply by 2/3 to determine how much you’ll receive in benefits every week. However, since there is a maximum amount you can receive while on workers compensation, you may not receive the full 2/3.
Your Workers Compensation Attorney in Florida Can Help Determine the Fair Amount
Like every other state, Florida has a maximum of how much you can receive per week on workers comp. As of 2022, the maximum weekly amount is $1,099. This means that if you make more than $1,600 or $1,700 per week, you won’t receive more than somebody who normally makes $1,500 per week. This may not seem fair, and many personal injury attorneys in Florida don’t think it’s fair either. However, there’s nothing you or your attorney can do to change the law.
In addition to having a weekly maximum, there’s also a limit on how many weeks you can collect workers comp benefits in Florida. Most states allow you to collect benefits for as long as 400 or 500 weeks. However, in Florida, you’re only allowed to collect these benefits for a period of 104 weeks. This comes out to be two years.
You may wonder why other states offer 400 weeks and Florida only offers two years. The truth is that it doesn’t matter all that much. Your workers compensation attorney in Florida is going try and settle your claim long before two years is up. Your employer doesn’t want to have to pay benefits for that long and you shouldn’t want to receive benefits for that long. Your ultimate goal should be to get off workers comp, go back to work, and resume a normal life.
What Happens if the Calculation is Incorrect?
There are times when your employer calculates your wages wrong. For example, in Florida, you’re allowed to include income from more than one employer for workers compensation purposes. If your employer or their insurance company are not aware that you had a second job, they will not include income from the second job in your calculations.
There could be a situation where your employer fails to include your bonuses and commissions in your weekly average. If this is the case, your personal injury attorney in Florida can file an appeal with the workers compensation commission. They can ask them to review your wages and determine what the fair, weekly average should be. Just keep in mind, if your weekly average is greater than around $1,500 there’s not much point in filing an appeal. Since the weekly cap on weekly benefits is $1,099, you don’t want to hold up receiving benefits any longer than absolutely necessary.
Do You Have to Pay Tax on Your Workers Comp Benefits?
One of the good things about workers comp benefits is that they’re not taxable. You won’t be expected to pay federal tax or state tax on this income. This almost makes up for the fact that you’re only being paid 2/3 of your average weekly wages. If you were working full time, taxes would have come out of here weekly pay, and it would be equal to about one third. Since you’re not going to be taxed on these monies, you should not lose all that much.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in Florida Right Away
If you or your spouse have gotten hurt on the job and don’t think you’re being fairly compensated, give us a call. Sit down with one of our workers compensation attorneys in Florida so you can tell them your side of the story. Your attorney will review your case and give you an idea of whether you have recourse. If this means you need to file an appeal, your attorney will help you file an appeal. However, if it appears that you’re receiving with the correct amount of weekly benefits, you may not need to take any further action.
We recommend that you contact our office as soon as possible and schedule your free, initial consultation. Sit down with a personal injury attorney in Florida who knows the law and is handled plenty of cases like yours before.