If you’ve suffered a work injury, you may wonder, When should I start to receive workers’ compensation payments? How long will it take?
Under Florida law, injured employees are entitled to wage loss and medical benefits. Medical benefits will likely start immediately.
But the wage loss claim has a workers’ comp waiting period, so those benefits may not start immediately. Most people can’t go too long without receiving a paycheck. Everyone has bills, a mortgage or rent, and food to put on the table.
Your employer may have mentioned a waiting period under Florida workers’ comp law. So when does workers’ comp start paying? And how long should you wait to contact an experienced Florida workers’ comp lawyer for help?
The Florida workers’ comp lawyers at Emmanuel, Sheppard & Condon have been successfully represented injured Florida workers for over 20 years.
It’s a smart decision to contact us immediately after a work injury so that all of your questions can be answered. We will explain what to expect and what you should do to protect your rights. Call us today for a free consultation.
Workers’ Comp Waiting Periods: 7-Day and 21-Day
If you’re injured on the job, the first thing to do is inform your supervisor immediately. The sooner your supervisor or boss knows of the injury, the sooner the claim process can begin.
Another important initial action to take is contacting a good Florida workers’ comp lawyer to make sure your employer and their workers’ comp insurance company are doing everything they’re supposed to be doing.
So how many days until workers’ comp pays? The Florida workers’ comp waiting period for wage benefits is seven days. This means that your wage benefit claim will begin on the 8th day after your time off of work begins.
However, you will only receive wage benefits for the first seven days of disability if you’re off work for more than 21 days in total. For example, let’s say you were off work for 18 days. Under this scenario, you would only be paid workers’ comp wage benefits for days 8 through 18.
But if you’re off for more than 21 days, you’ll be paid beginning from the first day of your disability.
Florida workers’ comp law states that you should receive your first workers’ compensation check within 21 days after reporting the injury to your employer. But in many cases, the injured employee will receive their first check before the 21st day.
Why Is There a Florida Workers’ Comp Claim Waiting Period?
One reason for the delay is that it takes time to process the claim.
The insurance adjuster has to obtain the injury report and initial medical records. The injured employee may need to provide a recorded statement to the adjuster. It also may take some time to get in to see a particular medical specialist.
Sometimes it can take a while to schedule diagnostic tests such as MRI and CT scans, and these scans may be necessary for your doctor to establish a formal diagnosis. But the bottom line is that you should receive your first wage loss check no later than 21 days after reporting the injury to your supervisor.
How Often Will You Receive Wage Benefit Checks?
Once the wage loss benefit checks begin, you should receive them every two weeks or bi-weekly. Not every workers’ comp insurance company issues the wage checks the same.
Some insurance companies mail the wage loss check to you every two weeks. Other insurance companies have the injured worker set up an electronic deposit for the benefits.
How Much Will My Wage Benefits Be?
If your work injury causes you to be completely off of work, then you’re entitled to two-thirds of your pre-injury average weekly wages, subject to the state’s maximum weekly benefit amount.
If you are on partial disability and are working with restrictions, you may be earning less than your pre-injury average weekly wage.
If you are not earning what you earned before your injury, your benefits will equal a percentage of the difference between your pre-injury and post-injury average weekly wages.
This may be confusing, but that’s a good reason to have an experienced lawyer to make sure you’re receiving the correct wage benefit amount.
Contact the Florida Workers’ Comp Lawyers at Emmanuel, Sheppard & Condon to Fight for Your Rights
The Florida workers’ comp lawyers at Emmanuel, Sheppard & Condon have been successfully fighting for the rights of injured Florida workers for over two decades. If you have questions, the smartest decision is to get an experienced lawyer on your side.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.