When one is injured at work, some of our biggest concerns, aside from medical treatment, is how the accident will affect our family, our finances, and our careers. These are all valid concerns, as injuries can turn our lives upside down at the blink of an eye. There could be a very real possibility that you will not be able to return to the same type of work you had prior to your injury. The goal of the Florida Workers’ Compensation law, in part, is to “facilitate the worker’s return to gainful reemployment.” Sometimes, work-related injuries will cause one to not be able to return to the same type of work they were able to perform prior to the injury. This could be a career that one has done for 30 years or a job to help out with bills that one has done for two. Either way, not being able to return to a job that we have done in the past, that gave us income to help take care of our families, is a scary proposition. Under Florida law, there is not no monetary benefit available for loss of income earning potential, or to compensate one when they cannot return to the same type of work they did previously. So, what do we do?
Luckily, here in Florida, we have the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. This is a program under the Florida Department of Education whose goal is to “help people with physical and mental disabilities prepare for, get, advance in or keep a job.” Likewise, the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation offers reemployment services designed to help injured workers return to work when their work-related injury or illness prevents them from returning to their past work.
To qualify, one needs to have a compensable injury with a date of accident of 10/01/1989 or later, be placed at Maximum Medical Improvement, be legally eligible to work in the United States, and submit a Request for Screening within one year of the last day medical or indemnity benefits were provided. The injured worker would also not be on the hook for any of the costs, aside from transportation, related to the program as the State of Florida will provide tuition, books, and any other materials that may be needed to ensure the injured workers return to gainful employment. While going through training, the injured worker will also be entitled to 26 weeks of missed wage benefits, with an additional 26 weeks potentially available, depending on the type of re-training the worker is enrolled in.
Throughout Mr. Masnikoff’s twenty-year career he has worked tirelessly to ensure that Floridians are provided quick and efficient medical and missed wage benefits under the law so that they are able to return to gainful employment. If you or a loved one were injured at work, and do not believe that you will be able to return to the same type of work you did previously, please give us a call so we can explain all of your options. The consultation is always free. We practice throughout Florida and you can reach any one of our offices at (877) 817-4127.
For additional information on reemployment services please visit Reemployment Services (myfloridacfo.com) and Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (rehabworks.org). Stay safe, and we will all get through this together!