How Much Will Your Workers’ Comp Settlement Be? Calculating Benefits in Florida
After a work-related injury, an employee is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, which pays for their medical bills and covers a portion of their lost wages. But how much can an injured worker actually get? How to calculate your workers’ comp settlement after a workplace injury?
Calculating Workers’ Compensation Settlement in Florida
Florida workers’ compensation law recognizes three types of workers’ comp benefits depending on the severity of the employee’s injury and the number of months or years that the worker will be out of work.
Temporary Disability Benefits
Workers who temporarily cannot work due to a work-related injury or illness can obtain temporary disability compensation, which can be calculated by determining two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly gross wages for the 13 weeks prior to the injury.
Here’s what you need to know about temporary disability benefits:
- In 2020, the maximum amount for temporary disability benefits in Florida is $971 per week;
- You will not receive these benefits for the first week out of work if your injury does not prevent you from working or diminishes your ability to work for at least 21 days;
- You may be entitled to up to 80% of your weekly wage if your work-related injury or illness is more severe (in that case, there is no threshold for how much you can receive);
- A worker cannot receive temporary disability benefits for more than two years unless he or she does not reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) after two years; and
- You can continue receiving partial disability benefits if you can go back to work but are still not able to perform all of your duties.
Permanent Impairment Benefits
When going to an authorized workers’ comp doctor after your workplace injury, the physician may diagnose you with a permanent condition or loss of function. This is called a permanent impairment.
If you can continue working, the doctor will assign an impairment rating ranging from 1% to 100%, which will affect how long you would be able to receive your impairment benefits. You can use the impairment income benefit calculator to determine how much you can receive in permanent impairment benefits.
Note: If you return to work and earn the same amount of money (or more) as before the injury, you will be entitled to only 50% of your weekly benefits.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits
If your work-related injury or illness is so severe that you will never return to work, you are entitled to permanent total disability benefits until you reach the age of 75. In fact, these benefits will continue even beyond the age of 75 if you are not eligible for Social Security benefits.
Your permanent total disability benefits will amount to your temporary disability rate (two-thirds of your average weekly wages, as discussed above), plus an annual Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) until you reach the age of 62.
Additional Benefits in Your Workers’ Comp Settlement
In addition to compensation for the loss of income, an injured worker is also entitled to:
- Medical benefits. All of your medical bills will be covered through workers’ compensation coverage once approved by the doctor and insurer.
- Vocational benefits. You are pursuing a new job after the work-related injury or illness, and the new job requires training or education, vocational benefits will cover these costs.