How Do I Get Lost Wages in Florida Workers Compensation Accidents

There are generally four types of money benefits paid in Florida workers compensation cases.

Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits are paid when the injured worker has been told by the workers compensation doctor that the injured worker should not perform any work while he or she  is recovering.  Each time you see the doctor you should have them provide you with a disability slip.  It’s usually called a DWC 25 form.  You should provide this immediately to the workers compensation adjuster so you can have your payments started.

Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) benefits are paid when the injured worker is allowed to return to some work activity but with certain physical or mental restrictions while he or she is recovering.  Examples are no lifting over 20 pounds or avoid dealing with the public.

The employer should be advised of the restrictions to see if they have work available within the restrictions.  If so, the injured worker should perform the light duty job.

If the employee is earning less than 80% of their pre-injury wage, the employee is entitled to lost wages .  The employee usually needs to turn in completed Employee Earnings Reports to the insurance company to prove their lost wages.

Impairment benefits (IB’s) are payable based on the impairment rating assigned when the employee reaches maximum medical improvement (MMI) and do not rely on any physical or mental restrictions.  For a detailed explanation of impairment benefits click here.

Permanent Total Disability (PTD) are payable to the severely disabled individual.  They are usually payable after the employee has reached maximum medical improvement and stop at age 75.  For a detailed explanation of proving entitlement to permanent total disability benefits click here

If you believe that you are entitled to lost wages contact us for a free consultation. Compensation you deserve….it’s what we work for.

4 responses to “How Do I Get Lost Wages in Florida Workers Compensation Accidents

  1. Hello, I just had some questions about lost wages. I think that I am getting 80% of my pay check but its still a little tuff to provide for my family with that. Is there any other way to receive other wages. I was on the job getting in my work truck and I tore my miniscus, I had surgery already and my doctor told I wouldn’t be able to go back into my field of work, ( field tech) in which consist of deep bending, climbing ladders, in and out of attics, and with that much use of the knee, he said it would be in my best interest to keep doing that type of work, I need a knee replacement in order to somewhat be made whole again. My job will not allow me to come back to work to do any lite duty type of work, they said i would need to be fully released and of course the doctor will not do so, because i am not fully recovered. I’m only 31 years old, and the doctor told me that I have the knee of a 70 year old man. Just wanted to let you all know what was going on and why I am ask for help in this situation.

    1. You appear to be entitled to TPD benefits. If you are earning 80% of your pre-injury wage (AWW) the insurance company is under no obligation to pay money benefits.

      Generally speaking, your average weekly wage is calculated by averaging your wages in the 13 weeks before the week of your accident, if you worked substantially the whole 13 week period. If you receive health insurance benefits, the employer cost of insurance is also included in the AWW calculation when the insurance is cancelled.

      Based on your comments, it sounds like your employer may not allow you to return to work. If so, you may qualify for retraining with the Division of Workers Compensation. You can receive workers compensation payments while you are in retraining.

      Also, once the employment relationship has ended you will be contacted by the insurance company about settlement. I would strongly encourage you to call my office for a free consultation to speak with me about your rights.

  2. Dear Mr. McKnight:
    At 1:00 PM, Monday, June 23, my wife tripped over a desk drawer which had rolled out unexpectedly just prior to her exiting her work station. As a result of the fall, she damaged her knee and dislocated the ring finger on her left hand, which required immediate medical treatment at a hospital emergency room, which will be followed later today by a visit to an orthopedic specialist. At present, we don’t know what, if any further treatment will be necessary.
    It is rumored that her employer, an agent for a major insurance company, is going to deduct her lost work days from her personal time (vacation and/or sick leave). Is this allowed under Florida’s Workers Compensation Statutes?
    We contacted the Florida State Workers Compensation Hotline at 1-800-342-1741 and were told by the person at the other end of the line that this was not addressed in Chapter 440 of the Florida Statutes.
    We then contacted my wife’s employer’s workers compensation adjuster, with whom we have been in contact with since the accident, and was told that it was company policy “not” to deduct from an employee’s vacation time, however, she could not require any agent to abide by this policy.
    I was of the impression that the worker’s compensation laws were set up to prevent an employee from suing an employer for work related injuries, while at the same time protecting the employee from any further suffering from lost wages during the recovery time. I consider lost vacation time lost wages. What say you?
    Thank you for your time.
    Michael Marie

    1. Your wife’s entitlement to workers compensation benefits is governed by Chapter 440. Generally speaking, she is not entitled to lost wages until she has been out of work for more than seven days. The workers compensation insurance carrier begins paying on day eight and if your wife continues to to be disabled for twenty one days, the carrier has to go back and pay for days one through seven of disability.

      Your wife’s rights to sick leave and annual leave are a matter of her employment contract between her and the employer, not the workers compensation carrier. By that I mean that even if she wasn’t hurt on the job she would be entitled to those benefits from the employer.

      If your wife used sick or annual leave and it is later shown that she should have been receiving workers compensation payments during the same period, the workers compensation judge can order payment of workers compensation benefits for the period where she also received sick or annual leave payments. Stated differently, the employer or it’s insurance company cannot avoid paying workers compensation benefits and force the employee to use sick or annual leave instead.

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