For dates of accidents happening after October 1, 2003, in Florida workers compensation cases the insurance company can be required to pay penalties and interest for late payment of money benefits.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD) Benefits, Permanent Total Disability (PTD) Benefits and Death Benefits:
The workers compensation insurance carrier owes a 20% penalty to the employee if it does not make payment within 7 days after any installment of indemnity benefits becomes due based on facts then known to the employer or carrier. However, the employer or insurance company can show that nonpayment occurred due to circumstances beyond their control to avoid paying a penalty. Also, a penalty is not due if t the carrier invoked its right to pay and investigate the claim.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) Benefits: When an employee returns to work with restrictions resulting from the accident and is earning wages less than 80 percent of the preinjury average weekly wage, the first payment of temporary partial disability benefits is due 7 days after the last date of the post injury employer’s first biweekly work week. Thereafter, payment for temporary partial benefits shall be paid biweekly no later than the 7th day following the last day of each biweekly work week. The period begins to run on the day when the insurance company receives the employee’s Employee Earnings Report (EER’s) showing his wage loss.
Permanent Impairment Benefits (IB) : Once the employee has reached the date of maximum medical improvement, impairment benefits are due and payable within 14 days after the carrier has knowledge of the impairment.
Benefits Paid due to an Award: If the judge of compensation claims enters an award ordering the insurance Company to pay benefits (and the insurance company does not appeal the award), a 20% penalty is payable if the benefits are not paid within 7 days of the date of the award.
The insurance company also owes 12% interest on any late payment of money benefits set forth above even if they timely deny the claim for benefits. There is a minimum payment of $5.00 for each late installment if it is greater than 12% per annually.
Insurance Companies regularly fail to pay penalties and interest they owe. If you think you have received late payment of money benefits and are entitled to penalties and interest call us today for a free consultation. The compensation your deserve….it’s what we work for.