Can I Collect Unemployment and Worker Compensation Benefits in Florida

In Florida, an injured worker who is laid off, terminated or fired from their job can collect unemployment benefits and still receive Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) benefits from the workers compensation insurance company.  The workers compensation law does not allow payment of Temporary Total Disability (TTD) payments, or Permanent Total Disability (PTD) benefits in any week where the employee is paid unemployment benefits.

To receive unemployment benefits the injured worker must be ready, willing and able to work.  This does not mean that they have to be free from all restrictions resulting from the workers compensation accident.  Nevertheless, they should be generally able to perform substantial work activities. By law, a person who is totally unable to work cannot receive unemployment benefits since they, by definition, are not ready, willing and able to work.

The injured worker should be aware that unemployment benefits act as an offset to temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits.  The unemployment benefits payment is treated like post-injury earnings for the purpose of calculation of the TPD payment.

For example, an injured worker is on light duty from his workers compensation accident and is entitled to TPD benefits.  At the time of injury his average weekly wage was $1,000.00 dollars.  The law requires that his wages are reduced to 80%, or $800.00 dollars, so that his TPD payment can be calculated.  If the employee is paid $275 in unemployment benefits the $800.00 amount is reduced to $525.00.  The law requires the workers compensation insurance company to pay 80% of $525.00, or $420.00.

If you have been laid off, terminated or fired you are still entitled to workers compensation benefits.

Call us today for a free consultation to answer your questions. Compensation you deserve….it’s what we work for.

4 responses to “Can I Collect Unemployment and Worker Compensation Benefits in Florida

  1. Hi. I injured my arm at work , and am collecting work comp. I have been releaded back to light duty, yet cant find work with this restriction. Im still collecting work comp, but wanted to see if i too can collect unimployment on top of my measly work comp salary. Please respond.. thanks . Mike

    1. You should remember that unemployment acts as an offset against workers compensation temporary partial disability benefits. If you apply for and receive unemployment you are only reducing what workers compensation owes.

      Depending on the facts of your case, it may make more sense to hold off on applying for unemployment until you reach maximum medical improvement (when payments for temporary partial lost wages stop). In this way you reserve unemployment payments to kick in when workers compensation has stopped.

      In cases where the carrier denies you claim, it makes sense to apply immediately to keep some cash coming in while you litigate.

      If you have any additional questions please call for a free phone conference. 813-870-1020

  2. Specifically, if one WAS recieving WC benefits, then one reaches MMI, and is now receiving Insurance Benefits or IB’s, aka Lost Wages, can one NOW “legally” apply and collect unemployment, if at this point you are TOLD to now find work?
    Is that double dipping or some type of loop hole?

    1. Unemployment benefits are not payable if you are receiving “temporary total” (TTD) or “permanent total” (PTD) workers compensation disability benefits. The reason being, to receive unemployment benefits you must be ready, willing and able to work (even if it is with some restrictions). Temporary total or permanent total benefits are disabilities that are “total” in character meaning you can’t work at all.

      Once you are released to return to light duty or released to return to work full duty, you can apply for unemployment benefits. Keep in mind that if you are on light duty and being paid “temporary partial” disability (TPD) workers compensation benefits, any money you receive from unemployment is a 100% credit against any TPD benefits. So collecting Unemployment benefits while being paid TPD only benefits the insurance company.

      If the insurance company is disputing entitlement to TPD you may consider applying for unemployment benefits since it will provide some income while you fight the insurance company.

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