Workers’ compensation is an employee benefit provided in the event of a work-related injury or illness. In Florida, you can apply for these benefits after getting hurt on the job; however, there are a few requirements you must meet in order to be eligible.
You must provide the necessary documents and follow the right steps. Some employers may not fulfill their obligation to your workers’ comp claim. This can add to the challenges that injured workers face when trying to get the coverage they deserve. It’s important that you understand your rights regarding workers’ compensation and how to properly file to get your benefits.
What Makes a Worker Eligible for Workers’ Comp?
If you work in construction, your employer must have workers’ comp coverage regardless of how many workers are employed — unless they have an owner exemption. All other companies that have at least four or more employees who are either part-time or full-time must have workers’ comp insurance in Florida.
While construction is by far the most dangerous profession — leading to most of the workers’ compensation claims — you can get injured doing any job. Retail, restaurant, and office workers are just as susceptible to getting hurt at work. Repetitive motions can cause carpal tunnel and other conditions, which should be covered by workers’ comp.
Another requirement of workers’ comp is that you must be an employee rather than an independent contractor. Your injury or illness must have been caused by your responsibilities directly related to your job, and you must report the injury within 30 days.
With these requirements satisfied, you can apply for workers’ compensation benefits following your injury.
What Benefits Can You Receive if You’re Hurt on the Job in Florida?
If you are eligible for workers’ compensation in Florida, you may receive a variety of benefits. These include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation expenses. Your medical benefits would include any hospitalization caused by your injuries, medical testing, physical therapy, prescriptions, and doctor’s visits.
Additionally, workers’ compensation helps for short-term or long-term disabilities by covering medical bills and some of the lost wages. In the event that work-related injuries lead to a fatality, survivor benefits will be provided.
How to Apply for Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Florida
The first step to apply for workers’ comp is to fill out a claim form. This form is then submitted to the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation. Along with it, you must provide medical documentation and proof of your lost wages. Be as specific as possible when identifying your injuries and the affected parts of your body, especially where you feel pain.
After submission, your claim will be evaluated — though even with plentiful evidence, it could still be rejected. Your employer or their insurance company may contest the claim, which would then mean you’d need to attend a hearing in front of a judge.
If you are experiencing problems with your workers’ compensation claim, you should discuss your case with an attorney. There are many workers’ comp law firms that specialize in this area of the law and their legal representation can be instrumental in fighting for your benefits.
1-800-Injured is a lawyer and medical referral service. We can help you find professionals in your area to assist you in your worker’s compensation case.
Challenges You May Face When Applying for Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits
There are certainly many cases where someone is hurt at work and gets their workers’ compensation coverage without any issues. However, for many, the process is challenging. Not every employer or their insurer will be forthcoming, and they may dispute your claim.
For those who experience challenges when filing, they may find their claim has been denied. In other scenarios, there may be disputes over what caused the injuries or the benefits that are owed. It may simply be denied over insufficient evidence or an error on your form that can be corrected.
Other times, injured workers are in for a fight. If you find yourself in this situation, you should not proceed without an attorney to stand up for your rights.