After suffering an injury at work, it is only natural to be anxious about finances and wondering how long it takes to get paid by workers’ comp. If you are seriously injured, you may be off duty for a while; even worse, it’s possible you could be permanently disabled. You know the Florida workers’ compensation system provides coverage for temporary or permanent disability, but how long does it take to recover your benefits?
Workers’ comp insurers are bound by law to provide benefits on a timely basis. If insurance companies do not follow these regulations, they are subject to fines and may have to pay you interest.
The information below provides a general timeline for an injured Florida worker expecting to receive workers’ compensation benefit payments. If you do not receive timely responses and/or payments, it may be well worth your time to speak to a qualified workers’ comp attorney.
Florida Workers’ Compensation Benefits Timeline
First, it is important that you follow timing deadlines for initiating your claim.
- You must notify your employer of your injury within 30 days.
- If you develop a chronic condition, notify your employer within 30 days of discovering that the problem is related to your work environment or duties.
Do You Know How to File Your Workers’ Comp Claim?
If you would like guidance on the steps involved with filing a claim, click to learn more about how to file a workers’ compensation claim. After you file, the below timeline begins.
Once you have initiated the workers’ comp claim, the following is a basic outline of your timeline to benefits, so you can understand how long it takes to get paid:
- Within 3 business days, your employer must provide a paper copy of your injury report to you.
- The company must report your injury to the insurer within 7 days.
- The insurer must then send a rights and benefits brochure to you 3 days after receiving notification of the injury.
- The insurer must respond to your treating doctor’s initial, written request for medical treatment within 3 business days (this request usually is sent electronically).
- Written requests for medical referrals must be authorized or denied within 3 business days.
- However, if the cost of treatment will be over $1,000, the insurance company’s response deadline is extended to 10 days.
- Within 14 days of notification of temporary disability, you should receive the first installment of compensation for your lost wages.
- Eligibility begins once you have lost 7 straight days of work (or 8 days that are not consecutive).
- So, generally, the earliest you can receive your first check is 3 weeks after the date of injury.
- If you are disabled for more than 21 days, you will be paid for the first 7 days as well.
What Is the Timeline if Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied?
- If it is denying your claim, the insurer should do so within 14 days of their knowledge of the relevant incident.
- If there is a need for further investigation, the insurer must provide initial benefits and notify the worker of a delayed decision.
- Then, an official denial of the claim must be filed within 120 days of initial provision of benefits. Injured workers have a right to appeal this denial within 2 years of the date of injury.
What Is the Timeline if a Worker Died on the Job?
- If the case involves a work-related death, family members should receive a payment within 14 days after the insurer receives official notification.
How Permanent Disability Compensation Affects When You Get Paid
After your doctor has treated you and you are determined to be at maximum medical improvement (MMI), you will be assigned a permanent impairment rating, if applicable.
Here’s a resource to get help to better understand what it means when a doctor determines you have reached maximum medical improvement.
For permanent partial or permanent total disability, an impairment benefits settlement will then be offered. In most cases, this will be in the form of a lump sum, but payments can also be negotiated.
Get Legal Help to Learn More about Getting Your Workers’ Compensation Payment
You may have questions beyond simply wondering how long it takes to get paid workers’ comp benefits. At any time during the workers’ compensation claim process, injured employees have the right to legal representation. Our experienced attorneys at Feldman Legal Group assist injured and disabled employees, working to ensure your right to maximum benefits under the law.
RESOURCE: Florida Workers’ Compensation System Guide