You may be eligible for compensation if you become injured at work. The Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation requires most employers to carry an insurance policy to cover medical bills, lost wages and other costs associated with this type of injury.
Explore the process of applying for workers’ comp in Florida, so you understand what to expect.
Reporting an injury
You should notify your employer about your injury as soon as possible, doing so within 30 days to claim benefits. The company then has seven days to report the incident to its workers’ compensation insurer. The insurance company must reach out to you within three days of that report with an informational brochure describing your next steps, rights and responsibilities. If you want to apply for workers’ comp benefits, you usually must do so within two years of the injury.
Understanding benefit amounts
Eligible workers who are temporarily unable to return to work receive biweekly benefit checks totaling 66 2/3% of their average weekly wages, calculated from the 13 pay weeks before the injury. Critically injured individuals may receive up to 80% of their average weekly wage.
Permanent disability benefits equal 80% of the difference between 80% of your pre-injury and post-injury pay. For example, if you made $75,000 before your injury and cannot work at all after your injury, your annual benefit amount would be about 80% of $60,000, which is $48,000.
These funds are not subject to income tax. You will begin receiving payments within 21 days of the initial injury report to your employer. The weekly maximum benefit amount is $971 for 2020 and increases each year.
Seeking reemployment services
Eligible employees who cannot return to their former positions after the injury may qualify for reemployment services. You can request formal retraining, job placement, job-based training, job-seeking skills, analysis of transferable skills and vocational counseling at no cost through the state Department of Financial Services.
You can appeal your case if you receive a denial of workers’ comp benefits.