Does Workers’ Comp Pay for Missed Work?
One of the most common questions people have when they suffer an injury on the job is, “Does workers’ comp pay for missed work?” Workers’ compensation pays for necessary medical care after a work-related injury, but what about lost income?
An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer at Colling Gilbert Wright can help you pursue all of the compensation you deserve if you are forced to miss work after an accident at your place of employment. When you’re injured and the bills are piling up, you need to focus on getting healthy. Let us handle the legal ins and outs while you heal.
Instead of asking the internet, “Does workers’ comp pay for missed work?”—ask the workers’ comp attorneys at Colling Gilbert Wright. Call (407) 712-7300 for a FREE case evaluation today. Our firm proudly serves clients in Orlando and throughout Florida.
Are You Eligible for Workers’ Comp?
First, we need to cover what it means to be eligible for workers’ compensation. In Florida (as in most states), there are three main eligibility criteria.
You are most likely eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if:
- You Are an Employee: Workers’ compensation benefits are generally available to employees (as opposed to independent contractors). If you receive a regular paycheck from a single employer, you are most likely classified as an employee.
- You Suffered a Job-Related Injury or Illness: In Florida, workers’ compensation only covers job-related injuries and illnesses. There is a two-part test to establish whether an injury is compensable under workers’ comp benefits. The test asks (1) did the injury “arise out of” the injured party’s employment and (2) was the injury suffered within the “time and space” of employment. If the answer is yes to each, you will most likely be able to pursue compensation through workers’ compensation.
- It Has Been Less Than 2 Years Since You Were Injured or Ill: Florida law establishes a two-year deadline for filing a workers’ compensation claim. You must also notify your employer of the injury no more than 30 days from the date it occurred.
Nearly all employers in Florida are required to have workers’ compensation coverage. An experienced lawyer can review the insurance policy, make sure you are covered, and help you claim any benefits to which you are entitled.
When Can You Obtain Workers’ Comp for Lost Wages?
In Florida, you can obtain workers’ compensation for lost wages if you suffer a work-related injury or illness that results in temporary or permanent disability. However, certain criteria must be met:
- Medical Necessity: The treating physician must confirm that the injury prevents you from performing your regular job duties.
- Waiting Period: Florida has a 7-day waiting period for lost wage benefits. This means you won’t be compensated for the first 7 days you’re out of work unless your disability lasts more than 21 days. If your disability exceeds 21 days, you can be compensated retroactively for those first 7 days.
- Limitation on Benefits: The duration and amount of benefits vary based on the nature and severity of your injury.
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD): If your injury or illness prevents you from working altogether for a limited period, you may be eligible for TTD benefits.
- Temporary Partial Disability (TPD): TPD benefits may apply if you can return to work but not in your original capacity, resulting in reduced wages.
- Permanent Total Disability (PTD): This is for situations where the work-related injury or illness is so severe that you’re permanently unable to return to any form of employment.
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): If your injury leads to a permanent limitation but you can still engage in some form of work, PPD benefits can assist in compensating for the wage difference.
How Much Does Workers’ Comp Pay for Missed Work?
For most employees, workers’ compensation covers two-thirds of their lost wages while they are unable to work due to a job-related injury or illness. However, workers’ compensation benefits are usually tax-free, which means that many employees will still take home about the same amount each week.
Note that we said most employees will receive two-thirds of their lost wages. This is because workers’ compensation disability benefits may not exceed the state’s average weekly wage. As of January 1st, 2023, the average weekly wage is $1,197.
What If a Worker Is Killed?
Per § 440.16 of Florida’s Workers’ Compensation statutes, the victim’s dependents can collect workers’ compensation benefits in weekly payments in cases involving fatal job-related injuries and illnesses. Compensation differs based on the relationship of the dependent family member, with a maximum benefit of $150,000. Eligible family members can also claim up to $7,500 for funeral and burial expenses.
Are You Entitled to Additional Compensation?
Whether you have been injured, gotten sick, or lost a loved one on the job, the workers’ compensation benefits available to you may not cover all of the costs of your medical condition or your loved one’s passing. Injuries and illnesses can also lead to pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, while losing a loved one too soon can impact your life in ways you couldn’t have previously imagined.
Employers are generally immune from lawsuits by injured workers. In addition, workers’ compensation benefits are limited by law. However, if the negligence of a third party was a factor, workers and their families may be able to seek additional compensation.
Third-party work injury cases operate like any other personal injury or wrongful death claim. You can pursue compensation for all of your losses—now and in the future—but you must present evidence establishing that one or more third parties were at fault for your injuries and damages.
You may be entitled to workers’ comp benefits and additional damages (such as lost wages and loss of earning capacity). An attorney well-versed in workers’ compensation and third-party claims can investigate on your behalf and determine what legal rights and options you have.
Get the Benefits and Additional Compensation You Deserve
The simple answer to “Does workers’ comp pay for missed work?” is yes. However, the minutiae involved in a workers’ compensation claim is more complicated.
At Colling Gilbert Wright, we recognize the pressures workers face when an injury causes them to miss work. Even a few days of missed work can have enormous financial consequences. Our goal is to help clients obtain the financial relief they deserve. This may consist of workers’ comp benefits and damages recovered through legal action against a negligent third party.
Contact Colling Gilbert Wright for a FREE case evaluation if you have been injured on the job. We strive to be your guide in the dark times following a workplace injury or death, and we promise to remain by your side every step of the way.