Late Payments in Florida Workers’ Compensation
For work accidents that happen after October 1, 2003, in Florida, in some circumstances, insurance carriers must pay interest and penalties when an injured worker is paid money benefits late during his or her workers’ compensation claim.
If an injured worker is receiving Temporary Total Disability benefits, Permanent Total Disability benefits or the injured workers’ family is receiving death benefits, the insurance carrier will owe a 20% penalty of the total late payment if it does not make payment within seven (7) days after any installment of indemnity benefits becomes due. The carrier can get an exception to this rule if it can show that late or non-payment occurred due to circumstances beyond the carrier’s control. Additionally, a penalty will not be owed if the carrier invoked the right to “pay and investigate the claim”, using a 120-day pay and investigate period.
Regarding an injured workers’ entitlement to Temporary Partial Disability, when an injured worker returns to work and is earning less than 80% of the pre-injury average weekly wage, the first payment of the temporary partial disability is due seven (7) days after the last date of the post-injury employer’s biweekly work week. Following that period, the payment for temporary partial benefits will be paid on a biweekly basis no later than the seventh (7th) day following the last day of each biweekly work week. Do note that this period begins to run on the day when the carrier receives the Employee Earnings Report showing the injured worker’s loss of wages for the relevant time period.
After the injured worker reaches overall Maximum Medical Improvement (when the doctor says he or she is “as good as they are going to get”), the first of the impairment benefits are due and payable if a rating over zero percent is given within fourteen (14) days after the carrier has knowledge of the impairment rating.
Also, if an injured workers’ benefits are to be paid by a carrier due to an award from a Judge of Compensation Claims, a 20% penalty is payable by the carrier if the benefits are not paid within seven (7) days of the date of the award.
In addition to the penalties discussed above, the insurance carrier owes 12% interest on any late payment of money benefits and there is a minimum payment of $5.00 for each late installment.
If you believe you are receiving your workers’ compensation benefits late and may be owed interest and penalties, we can review your case with you for a free consultation. Contact us at Harris Guidi Rosner P.A. at (904) 777-7777 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a time to discuss your case.
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