Handling Workers’ Compensation Wage Loss Benefits Issues
In certain situations, Florida law requires employers to pay employees for lost wages. However, sometimes there are issues along the way that a workers’ comp lawyer can help walk your through.
The payment of wage loss benefits through the workers’ compensation system can be delayed or disrupted by a number of factors. First, your employer’s insurance carrier will not pay anything until they see proof of disability from a doctor. Then, there is a seven-day waiting period, although payment is not considered overdue until 14 days thereafter.
In other words, a three-week delay in the initial check is not unusual. Then sometimes we see a repeated trend of late payment. In the meantime, you still need to buy food and pay bills.
Getting the Right Amount of Compensation
Beyond the issue of getting paid in a timely manner is the issue of getting paid the right amount. Errors are not uncommon. Insurers calculate benefits based on what they are told by the employers.
The employers may be slow in reporting or unaware of what should be included. Our lawyers can spot these errors and help you resolve them.
One common source of error in wage loss benefits is in the calculation of the average weekly wage. This is supposed to be a 13-week average that includes base pay, overtime, bonuses, fringe benefits and income from other jobs. Unfortunately, it is frequently only calculated on base pay. This results in an underpayment of benefits.
Upon returning to work, an employer may put an employee on light duty. Light duty positions may involve pay cuts. The employee must still be getting paid 80% of their average weekly wage. If not, the insurance carrier must make up part of the difference.