How Do You Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Florida?
Workers’ compensation benefits exist to offer financial and medical relief to individuals who are injured while on the job or who suffer an occupational illness. In most cases, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system in Florida, which means any eligible worker can file a claim to receive compensation from the insurance provider used by their employer.
In most cases, the system works, and the benefits will ensure that an accident victim has the resources required to recover.
Unfortunately, there are some situations where your employer or the insurance company will claim you are not eligible for these benefits and try to deny coverage.
If you are injured while working or developed an occupational illness and have been refused benefits, it can be stressful. In most cases, you will be left wondering how to get the medical treatment you need and pay your bills while you cannot work.
In this situation, the best thing you can do is get in touch with an experienced Florida workers’ compensation attorney. They can help ensure you get the benefits you deserve.
Who Is Considered Eligible to Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Florida?
In the state of Florida, most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This means that most workers are eligible to receive benefits. However, there are some requirements that workers must meet to be considered eligible:
- Legally classified as an employee
- Employer that carries workers’ compensation insurance
- Have a work-related illness or injury
- File a claim by the set deadline
- Appear for all medical exams and treatments
The eligibility conditions may seem straightforward; however, there are some legal exceptions and gray areas to be aware of. Some workers don’t qualify for workers’ comp or who are covered under a different program. These include:
- Federal workers
- Some independent contractors
- Mining, maritime, railroad, and agricultural employees
- Domestic employees
- Seasonal and undocumented employees
Eligibility and Requirements for Workers’ Compensation in Florida
If you are in a position that qualifies you to receive workers’ compensation, there are a few other eligibility requirements to know about. These requirements include:
- Reporting your illness or injury within 30 days of the incident or becoming aware of your ailment
- Make sure your employer reports the injury to their insurance carrier within seven days of the initial report
- Filing petitions for benefits within two years
- Receiving authorization from the insurance provider for the doctor who treats the injury or illness
- Agreeing not to sue the employer when benefits are accepted
If an injury or illness is properly reported, insurance carriers should be issuing benefits to an eligible worker within three weeks. If a claim is denied, the injured worker must be notified of this denial within 120 days.
At this point, you can also file a lawsuit against the insurance provider, but it is recommended you use the services of a workers’ compensation attorney for this. Doing so will give you the best chance of receiving the benefits you deserve for your work-caused injury or illness.