The workers’ compensation system was created to allow employees to recover from their injuries without worrying about how they will pay their bills while they're out of work.
However, employers and insurers will want you to go back to your job as soon as possible, so the amount you can receive in lost wages from workers’ compensation is limited.
Florida Workers’ Compensation is Paid as a Portion of Your Wages
Under Florida workers' compensation laws, how much you'll receive while you're out of work depends on the degree of your disability and how much you earn.
Most employees receive temporary total disability benefits following an injury, since they are completely unable to work after an accident. Temporary disability benefits are paid until you reach maximum medical improvement or for 104 weeks, whichever comes first.
The amount you receive in lost income depends on whether you're classified as having:
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD). These benefits are paid at two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage (AWW). The calculation for the AWW is based on 13 weeks of an employee’s earnings prior to the injury, including overtime, bonuses, and other benefits, such as health insurance. If the worker suffered a severe injury, such as blindness or paralysis, he or she may receive up to 80 percent of his or her regular wages for the first six months.
There's a maximum amount set for TTD each year—for example, the maximum benefit is $917 per week in 2018.
- Temporary Partial Disability (TPD). If your doctor declared that you can return to work, but you cannot perform the duties you used to, you may be entitled to receive 64 percent of your AWW in partial disability benefits. These benefits are paid if you're only able to earn a portion of your previous wages. These benefits are paid at 80 percent of the difference between 80 percent of your previous wages and your current wages.
For instance, let’s say you earned $2,000 before your injury, but now are only able to do part time, earning only $1,000. Workers’ compensation takes 80 percent of $2,000—which is $1,600—and subtracts your current wages, which are $1,000, to get $600. You would be paid 80 percent of $600 in TPD benefits, which is $480.
Once you've recovered from your immediate injuries, your doctor must evaluate whether your injury could have resulted in permanent disability. If you're permanently disabled, you may be able to receive workers’ compensation payments for life.
To find out more, order our free book, It’s Not Rocket Science, It’s Workers’ Comp, or fill out the quick contact form on this page today to schedule your no-cost consultation with our work injury attorneys.