I’m Permanently Disabled – Now What?
If you have endured a serious work injury, the workers’ compensation system will compensate you for your injuries. However, the amount that you can receive in Florida depends on the extent of your injuries.
For example, if you are expected to heal, then your benefits will not be the same as if you are never expected to fully recover. Your compensation will also vary depending on how much you earned prior to the accident and whether you can work at a job that is less physically demanding than your previous job.
There are six kinds of various workers’ compensation benefits in Florida:
- Temporary total disability
- Temporary partial disability
- Permanent partial disability
- Permanent total disability
- Rehabilitation temporary total disability
- Death benefits
Permanent Disability Benefits
If you have been deemed permanently disabled, you will either be classified as partially disabled or totally disabled.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
Permanent partial disability benefits are based on a total body percentage of impairment that your doctor will assign to you.
For example, if you injured your hand (and just your hand), then your doctor may assign you an impairment percentage of 5 percent. Your partial disability will always be there, but you can continue to work (even if it is at another job).
Your percentage is then converted into weeks. You will receive 75% of your weekly temporary total disability amount. Your temporary total disability amount is two-thirds of your average weekly wage prior to the accident.
As the percentage of impairment increases, so does the value of each percentage point. For example, 1% to 10% is two weeks for each percentage point, but 21% to 99% is 6 weeks for each percentage point.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits
If you are deemed totally disabled, then this means that you cannot continue working at all. Only certain injuries will qualify a worker for permanent total disability benefits. For example, some serious injuries include:
- Severe brain injuries
- Amputation of a leg, arm, hand, or foot
- Spinal cord injury that results in severe paralysis
- Serious burns (second or third degree that cover more than 25% of your body)
- Total or industrial blindness
If you have not suffered from one of these examples, you can still show that you are permanently totally disabled by proving that you cannot do a sedentary job that is within 50 miles of your home. Generally, a doctor will make this determination.
Your check for permanent total disability will be 2/3 of your average weekly wage prior to the accident. This benefit will continue until you reach age 75 unless you would otherwise be ineligible for Social Security disability benefits. You may also qualify for weekly supplemental benefits in some situations.
Getting Your Florida Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If you think you should be considered permanently disabled, but are having troubling getting your FL workers’ compensation benefits, call Glotzer & Kobren as soon as possible. We can help you work through the system to get the benefits that you deserve. Call 561-361-8677 for a free consultation.