Do you operate a business in the state of Florida? Is the nature of your work potentially harmful to your employees? If so, you need to know about workers compensation.
Workers comp laws vary from state to state. However, they all involve businesses paying compensation to employees who were either injured on their property or injured while working for them.
Looking to learn more about Florida workers compensation laws? This article has you covered.
What Kinds of Injuries Trigger Workers Compensation?
In Florida, any physical injury that an employee suffers while working is eligible for workers compensation. Most generally, this applies to injuries which prevent employees from working.
In most cases, mental and emotional injuries are not covered by workers comp. However, if said mental or emotional injuries stem from a physical injury that occurred at work, they might be covered.
Types of Workers Compensation Benefits
When an employee is deemed eligible for workers compensation benefits, he or she is given one of the following types of benefits. These benefits will pay up to $863 per week, the average weekly income in the state of Florida.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
If you aren’t able to go to work at all while you recover from your injury, you will be given temporary total disability or TTD. This benefit will generally pay you 66 2/3% of your normal weekly income. If you’ve suffered a severe injury, you can receive up to 80% of your normal weekly income.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)
Temporary partial disability is given to those who were injured at work, but who are still able to work in some capacity. This benefit will take 80% of an employee’s normal weekly income, subtract the full amount of said employee’s current weekly income, and provide the said employee with 80% of that difference.
Impairment benefits are given to employees who’ve suffered a permanent injury or illness at work. The exact amount of benefits given to specific employees depend largely on the nature of the illnesses and injuries that they’ve incurred.
As of 2019, the maximum weekly payment that an employee can receive through this benefit is $939. Wondering what you would get through impairment benefits? Use this calculator to find out.
When Do Workers Comp Benefits Kick In?
The time at which a specific employees’ workers comp benefits kick in is dependent on the length of their injury. All workers comp benefits are given retroactively. This is to say that they are given after a certain amount of time has passed.
If an employee’s injury lasts for less than 22 days, he or she will not be awarded for benefits until the 8th day of his or her injury. For example, if the injury lasts 20 days, the injured employee will be given compensation for days 8 through 20.
On the other hand, if an employee’s injury lasts 22 days or longer, he or she will be awarded for benefits for the entirety of the injury. In other words, if the injury lasts for 40 days, the injured employee will receive compensation on days 1 through 40.
How Long Do Workers Compensation Benefits Last?
In the state of Florida, whether an employee is receiving temporary total disability or temporary partial disability, he or she can’t receive benefits for any longer than 104 weeks. This comes out to two years.
Those who are critically injured and receiving 80% of their normal weekly income can only receive such benefits for up to 6 months.
Are Businesses Required to Continue Employment After Benefits Have Ended?
In the majority of states in the United States, businesses are legally required to continue employing their employees after they have returned from injury recovery. However, in the state of Florida, this is not the case.
While businesses are certainly welcome to continue the employment of injured workers, they are under no obligation to do so. As long as they pay those workers their legally required worker compensation benefits, they are legally in the clear.
Is There a Statute of Limitations on Worker Compensation Florida?
In the state of Florida, when trying to claim workers compensation, employees must file a claim within 2 years of their injury. If their original claims do not satisfy the medical expenses associated with their injuries, they have a year from their final payments to file additional claims. However, there is a little leeway in both cases.
In addition, employees should alert their employers to their injuries within a 30-day period. Failure to do so can jeopardize an employee’s ability to secure benefits.
Who Pays Workers Comp Florida?
Technically, employers are legally responsible for paying workers comp to their injured workers. However, in most cases, they do so through the use of workers compensation insurance. They pay premiums for this insurance monthly, and, when a workers comp claim is filed, the insurance company makes the necessary payments.
Many companies are legally required to obtain workers compensation insurance. Only a select few aren’t.
Construction companies with one or more employees are legally required to obtain workers comp insurance. So are non-construction companies with 4 or more employees. If you run an agricultural business with 6 regular employees or 12 seasonal employees, you are also required to have a workers compensation insurance plan.
If your business doesn’t fit these criteria, you are not forced to obtain such insurance. However, if one of your employees becomes injured while on the job, you will still be held responsible for the appropriate worker comp benefit payments. So, even if you’re not legally required to obtain this insurance, it might still be a good idea to do so.
We’ll Help You to Abide by Florida Workers Compensation Laws
As you can see, the Florida workers compensation laws can work against you in the event that one of your employees is injured on the job. Fortunately, you can protect yourself and your business by investing in a workers compensation plan.
Interested in doing so? If so, National Workman’s Comp Solutions can help you. We deal in all things workers comp, helping you to legally manage injured employee payments and bookkeeping.