Workers’ Compensation FAQs
How long after an accident do I have to report it to my employer?
You should report it as soon as possible but no later than 30 days or your claim may be denied.
What kind of medical treatment can I get?
The medical provider, authorized by your employer or the insurance company, will provide the necessary medical care, treatment and prescriptions related to your injury.
Do I have to pay any of my medical bills?
No, all authorized medical bills should be submitted by the medical provider to your employer’s insurance company for payment.
Will I be paid if I lose time from work?
Under Florida law, you are not paid for the first seven days of disability. However, if you lose time because your disability extends to over 21 days, you may be paid for the first seven days by the insurance company.
How much will I be paid?
In most cases, your benefit check, which is paid bi-weekly, will be 66 2/3 percent of your average weekly wage. If you were injured before October 1, 2003, this amount is calculated by using wages earned during the 91-day period immediately preceding the date of your injury, not to exceed the state limit. If you worked less than 90 percent of the 91-day period, the wages of a similar employee in the same employment who has worked the whole of the 91-day period or your full-time weekly wage may be used. If you were injured on or after October 1, 2003, your average weekly wage is calculated using wages earned 13 weeks prior to your injury, not counting the week in which you were injured.
In addition, if you worked less than 75 percent of the 13-week period, a similar employee in the same employment who has worked 75 percent of the 13-week period or your full time weekly wage shall be used.
If I’m only temporarily disabled, how long can I get these checks?
You can receive temporary total, temporary partial disability payments or a combination of the two benefits during the continuance of your disability for no more than a maximum of 104 weeks.
Can I receive Social Security benefits and workers’ compensation benefits at the same time?
Yes. However, an offset, or reduction in your workers’ compensation check may be applied because the law states that the two combined may not exceed 80 percent of your average weekly wage earned prior to your injury. For further information on Social Security, you may contact the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 or visit their website at www.ssa.gov.
Can my employer fire me if I am unable to work because of an injury and am receiving workers’ compensation benefits?
No, it is against the law to fire you because you have filed or attempted to file a workers’ compensation claim.
If I am unable to return to the type of work I did before I was injured, what can I do?
The law provides, at no cost to you, reemployment services to help you return to work. Services include vocational counseling, transferable skills analysis, job-seeking skills, job placement, on-the-job training and formal retraining. To find out more about this program, you may contact the Department of Education, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Bureau of Rehabilitation and Reemployment Services at 850-245-3470 or visit their website at www.rehabworks.org.
Is there a period of time after which my claim is no longer open?
If you were injured on or after January 1, 1994, the claim is closed one year from the date of your last medical treatment or payment of compensation. This period of time is referred to as the statute of limitations.
Can I get a settlement from my claim?
Settlements may be made under certain circumstances and are voluntary, not automatic or mandatory.
If I settle my claim for medical benefits with the insurance company and my condition gets worse later, who pays for my future medical care, surgeries or other procedures?
You are responsible for your future medical needs after your claim for medical benefits is settled.
What can I do when it is difficult to get a prescription filled or I am having problems with the pharmacy where I get my workers’ compensation medications?
In Florida, an injured worker has the right to select a pharmacy or pharmacist. Florida law prohibits interference with your right to choose a pharmacy or pharmacist. However, a pharmacy is not required to participate in the workers’ compensation program. If at any time, you become dissatisfied with your pharmacy or pharmacist’s services, you can seek another pharmacy to fill your prescriptions.