After a workplace injury, many Florida workers are unable to fulfill the usual physical demands of their job. Some injured workers become, at least temporarily, unable to work at all. And with less work often comes a lower paycheck.
Florida Worker’s Compensation law provides for injured workers to receive lost wages benefits while they heal and get treatment. This coverage is separated into two major categories – Temporary Total Disability and Temporary Partial Disability.
The type of temporary benefits that you qualify for depends on what the Worker’s Compensation doctor decides about your injury. Temporary Total Disability benefits are due when the doctor says that at this time, you are completely unable to work. Temporary partial benefits are due when the doctor states that you may return to work, but only as long as you follow certain restrictions. Doctors provide this information by filling out a form known as the DWC-25. A copy of this form is provided to you at the end of the doctor’s appointment. It is a 2-page form that can be one of the most important documents in your Worker’s Compensation case, so make sure you ask for a copy if the doctor doesn’t provide one to you!
Following the restrictions in your DWC-25 is one of the most important things you can do for your Worker’s Compensation case. When you receive the DWC-25, be sure to give a copy of it to your employer. Your employer is required to follow the restrictions in the DWC-25. If they offer you work that fits within your doctor’s restrictions, then you should perform that work, even if it is not a task you normally do. On the other hand, you can- and should- refuse work that does not follow the restrictions set by your Worker’s Compensation doctor.
Work restrictions and lost wages are a complicated area of the law – the attorneys at Lancaster & Eure are here to answer your questions and guide you through this process.