Am I Entitled to Receive Lost Wages if I Get Injured on the Job in Florida?
Summary: You may qualify for permanent total disability benefits if your injuries are so severe that you are unable to ever work again.
The workers compensation system in Florida does compensate injured workers for their lost wages if they are temporarily or permanently unable to work due to their work-related injuries. Generally, there are three types of compensation for lost wages:
1. Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)
2. Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
3. Permanent Total Disability (PTD)
The type and amount of compensation you receive depends upon multiple factors including the nature and severity of your injuries, your medically imposed work restrictions, your employer’s ability or inability to accommodate your work restrictions, and your average income in the 13 weeks immediately preceding the date of your injury.
What are Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) benefits?
Injured workers may be entitled to temporary partial disability benefits if they are not deemed totally disabled by their authorized treating physician, are medically able to perform some type of work, and are not making at least 80% of their pre-injury wages.
In most cases, your treating physician will determine that you are capable of returning back to work with certain restrictions. You are then required to provide your employer with the treating physician’s restrictions. If your employer has work available within your restrictions, you are required to return to work. If you employer is unable to accommodate your restrictions, you are entitled to receive temporary partial disability benefits. These benefits are typically paid every 14 days.
The amount you receive is determined by your average earnings for the 13 weeks immediately preceding the date of injury which is referred to as your average weekly wage (AWW). If you qualify for temporary partial disability, you will receive 64 percent of your average weekly wage.
What are Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits?
Injured workers are entitled to temporary total disability if their treating physician determines that the injuries are so severe that they are temporarily totally disabled and not able to work at all. As with temporary partial disability, the benefits are typically paid biweekly. The amount you receive is 66 2/3 percent of your average weekly wage.
What are Permanent Total Disability (PTD) benefits?
You may qualify for permanent total disability benefits if your injuries are so severe that you are unable to ever work again. Not only do you have to show that you cannot perform your current job duties but that you are unable to perform any work at all.
In the following cases, an injured worker is presumed to be permanently and totally disabled unless the employer or carrier can establish that the employee is physically capable of engaging in at least sedentary duty within a 50-mile radius of the employee’s residence:
1. Spinal cord injury involving severe paralysis of an arm, leg, or the trunk.
2. Amputation of an arm, a hand, a foot, or a leg involving the effective loss of that appendage.
3. Severe brain or closed head injury.
4. Second-degree or third-degree burns of 25 percent or more of the total body or third-degree burns of 5 percent or more to the face and hands.
5. Total or industrial blindness.
In all other cases, the burden is on the injured worker and his or her attorney to establish that the employee is not able to engage in at least sedentary duty within a 50-mile radius of the employee’s home. As with temporary total disability, the benefits are paid out at 66 2/3 of your average weekly wage. Entitlement to permanent total disability benefits end at age 75.
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