As classes start at schools across Florida, you have undoubtedly noticed a lot more traffic on the road ways and longer commutes. Along with the children returning to school, thousands of workers will be returning to, or starting for the first time, their positions as teachers, administrators, maintenance workers, school resource officers, etc… Regardless of your position, thank you for working to ensure that future generations are given the best opportunity to learn and thrive.
As you return to work it is important to know what steps to take in the unfortunate event of a work place accident. If you are an employee and injured at a school, the first step is to notify your direct supervisor who should have you fill out an incident report. This is important because under Florida law you only have thirty days to report an accident. Your school administrator should then instruct you where to receive medical treatment. Under Florida workers compensation laws, your school district’s insurance carrier dictates the medical treatment.
Typically, the first provider will be a walk-in clinic. Although not able to pick your own provider, the medical treatment provided pursuant to your workers compensation injury will be at no cost to you, meaning that you should not be billed for any of the services you receive from an authorized medical provider. Once you receive medical treatment, the provider will address your work status. This means that your provider may do one of a couple things.
First, she may state that at the current time you are placed on a “No Work” status. If this is the case, the insurance carrier will pay you Temporary Total Disability indemnity benefits at a rate of 66 and 2/3% of your average weekly wage which is the average of your thirteen weeks of income prior to your injury. Or, she may place you on a “Light Duty” status with various work restrictions such as no bending, or no lifting over a certain amount of weight for example. In the above instance, your school will do one of two things. You will either be instructed to return because there is work within your restrictions, or you be told to stay home due to there being no work within the doctor’s restrictions.
If there is no work within your restrictions, you will be entitled to Temporary Partial Disability benefits which will be approximately 63% or your Average Weekly Wage. If you are able to return to work in a light duty capacity but due to your restrictions are earning less than 80% of your Average Weekly Wage, the insurance company will pay you a portion of the difference in your income. All of the above indemnity, or missed wage benefits are tax free. These missed wage benefits help to ensure that you are receiving money to pay bills while you are out of work receiving medical treatment.
Throughout Mr. Masnikoff’s twenty-year career he has worked tirelessly to ensure that those who work to foster the youth of tomorrow are provided with the proper benefits in a timely manner. If you or a loved one work in the education industry and have questions regarding what rights you are entitled to under Florida’s workers compensation law, please contact us as we are here to answer any question. The consultation is free. We practice throughout Florida and you can reach anyone of our offices at (877) 817-4127.
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