Voluntary Limitation of Income in Florida Workers Compensation Cases
Voluntary Limitation of Income is a defense commonly raised by Florida workers compensation insurance companies against injured workers seeking Florida worker compensation benefits while on light duty. A good Florida workers compensation attorney can help defeat this defense.
Workers compensation insurance companies argue that injured employee’s should not be paid temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits when they could have been working, either at a light duty job provided by their employer or a light duty job that could be found by the employee if they would have looked for work.
Each word in “Temporary Partial Disability” is a term with legal significance. “Temporary” obviously means it is not permanent. It is expected that you are going to get better which means you are not at maximum medical improvement. “Partial” means it is not total in nature. You have been told you can work but with some restrictions caused by your work injury. “Disability” means the restrictions from your work injury cause you make less than 80% of your wages.
To prove entitlement to temporary partial disability the injured worker need only show that the injuries form the work accident prevent them from doing their normal job functions.
If the workers compensation insurance company wants to defeat the claim it must show that the injued worker knew the employer had a job available within the employee’s restrictions or the employer found other work which was available for the employee through another employer which the employee refused to accept, or the injued worker knew they should be looking for work and that they would have found work if they would have looked for a job.
When the judge is convinced that the voluntary limitation of income defense applies, the workers compensation insurance company must also prove, for each two week period of TPD claimed, the earnings the employee would have received in the job(s) he could have worked. The amount of earnings are imputed income. This means it is deducted from the TPD benefits the employee would receive. For example, if the job would have allowed the employee to earn 80% of his wages, he is not entitled to TPD for the two week period in question.
If a workers compensation insurance company denies your claim based on voluntary limitation of income contact us today. Compensation workers deserve, it’s what we work for.