Workers’ Compensation Q&A
If you have been injured at the workplace, come to the Florida Hand Center for your workers’ compensation. You can visit us online to book an appointment or you can call us too. We have convenient locations for you in Port Charlotte FL, and Fort Myers FL.
Table of Contents:
What is Workers’ Compensation?
What makes you eligible for Workers’ Compensation?
How much does Workers’ Compensation cost for the employer?
What are the different types of benefits?
Workers’ Compensation refers to a set of laws that protect employees who are injured on the job and a group of insurance programs that provide coverage of the employee’s expenses collected as a result of the injury. A monetary award may be given to diverge from litigation. If an employee dies due to their injuries, Worker’s Compensation protects the benefits supplied to the family and dependents.
The OWCP, or Office of Workers Compensation Programs, works to implement the standards of FECA, the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act, by providing four kinds of compensation benefits: wage replacement, medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation, and coverage for other miscellaneous costs incurred.
While factors and legalities are considered when determining the eligibility of an employee for Workers Compensation, there are four main boxes to check: the injured must be an employee, the employer must carry Workers Compensation Insurance, the injury must be work-related, and the claim must be filed by a particular deadline.
First, a worker may not always be considered an “employee.” A worker’s title may be employee, statutory or temporary, all with differing eligibility. Employees are fully eligible for benefits. Statutory workers include independent contractors and may be entitled to some reimbursement. Temporary workers are entitled to benefits, though they are provided through the employment agency.
Volunteers are not usually permitted coverage; however, specific fields and organizations gain access to these benefits, such as the peace corps or a fire department. Aside from these categories, certain employees have particularized rules of eligibility. For example, domestic workers are usually not covered by Worker’s Compensation as they work in private homes.
Farmers and agricultural workers may be exempt from benefits in certain states, generally if they are small businesses. Leased or loaned employees are typically covered, but the group supplying the Compensation needs to be identified. Lastly, undocumented workers are fully entitled to benefits regardless of their citizenship status in most states. The next pillar of eligibility to consider is if the employer is insured.
Regulations requiring insurance vary state to state, though most employers are covered by Worker’s Compensation, regardless of laws. If you and your employer have coverage, it is crucial that you file the appropriate claim on time. Many employees with occupational injuries do not receive the benefits they are entitled to because they do not file a claim by the deadline.
A trauma claim must be filed within 30 days of the injury. The deadline for an occupational disease claim is within three years of your awareness (within appropriate measures) of the health concern.
Recently, over $2.9 billion in benefits were compensated to employees sustaining work-related injuries. In addition, another $1.8 billion was paid for wage loss, nearly $1 million for rehabilitation needs, and millions more in benefits for the family and dependents. Though this statistic is regarding the government, it is estimated that employers will pay $1-3 for every $100 of payroll.
Workers’ Compensation covers a variety of benefits for everyone, though you may be entitled to extra benefits depending on the circumstances of your injury. One of the benefits provided by Worker’s Compensation is wage replacement.
If you experience a trauma or disability that disallows you to work, you are entitled to monthly payments until your medical barriers have been resolved. At a minimum baseline, this monthly payment is around 66 percent of your monthly wage.
If you have one or more dependents, that number is increased to 75 percent. In the case of a total disability, meaning you cannot perform any duties of your occupation, the percentage of your wage replacement must be no lower than 75 percent. You should also expect Workers’ Compensation to cover any medical billings resulting from your workplace injury. For example, transportation via ambulance, consultations with doctors and specialists, aids and devices, medications, wound care, etc.
Rehabilitation needed to gain functionality back, especially in the workplace, is paid for, as is any needed accompanying aides, guides, or care workers to support you with your disability. Depending on the claim, there may be an opportunity for more financial assistance. Three claims can be made: traumatic injury, occupational disease, and death. The injury must have occurred in the span of the workday or shift for traumatic injury.
On the other hand, occupational disease claims are filed when a condition is either exacerbated or caused by labor. This type of injury may progress over a long period. With a traumatic claim, you not only get wage replacement, but you may also receive Continuation of Pay (COP) until your prognosis is determined. COP is 100% of your regular weekly pay after typical deductions. In the case of an occupational disease claim, you may be eligible for dual payments, such as black lung benefits or railroad retirement act benefits.
At the Florida Hand Center, we offer many surgical and nonsurgical treatments that are cost-effective and covered by most insurance providers. We serve patients from Port Charlotte FL, Fort Myers FL, Punta Gorda FL, Estero FL, Murdock FL, Charlotte Harbor FL, Harbour Heights FL, Cape Coral FL, Lake Suzy FL, and Solana FL.
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