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Wage replacement through workers' compensation benefits

Florida workers who are injured and cannot work, or those who have lost wages because of a work injury or illness, might be eligible to receive wage replacement through workers' compensation benefits. Those who have been disabled for a time period that goes beyond seven calendar days and are unable to do their normal job based on advice from a doctor authorized to provide treatment might get these benefits. They will start on the eighth day in which they are partially and totally disabled.

Payment for the first seven days will not be made unless the person is disabled for more than 21 days. In general, the payments will be equal to two-thirds of what the person's regular weekly wages were before the injury or illness. It will not surpass the average weekly wage in the state. The following are the types of benefits that can be received by an injured worker: Temporary Total Benefits, Temporary Partial Benefits, Permanent Impairment Benefits, Permanent Total Benefits and Death Benefits.

With Temporary Total Benefits, workers will receive them if they are temporarily unable to work, but have not reached maximum medical improvement, known as "MMI." With Temporary Partial Benefits, workers will receive them when the doctor issues a release to get back to work with restrictions, the person has not achieved MMI and earns less than 80 percent of the pre-injury wages. The maximum length of time that temporary total or partial benefits can be provided is 104 weeks, or to the point of MMI, whichever comes first. Permanent Impairment Benefits are for those whose injury or illness has caused physical, psychological or functional loss and this continues after MMI. The doctor will give a rating of permanent impairment based on a percentage of disability to the entire body. Permanent Total Benefits are for when the injury is permanent and totally disabling. Death Benefits are for funeral costs and payments to dependents.

People who are injured at work need to be aware of these workers' compensation benefits if they are ill or injured because of work. These are in place to protect workers and their families. Sometimes, people might not be aware of their rights. If there is an issue or confusion, getting the right information about Temporary Total Disability and other benefits can help to get what the worker what he is entitled to.

Source: myflordiacfo.com, "Workers' Compensation Information For Florida's Workers -- Wage Replacement Benefits," accessed on Feb. 6, 2017

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