We regularly get asked this question. It goes something like this:
I was getting $(XXX.XX) every two weeks and now I am getting less. WHAT HAPPENED?
The answer is that your workers’ compensation doctor changed your work status.
For example,when your work status is changed from “no work” to some type of limited return-to-work status, Florida law allows the workers’ compensation insurance company to pay you less.
When your employer cannot accommodate your work restrictions the workers’ compensation insurance company must send you checks. However, these checks are paid at a lower percentage than if you were on a “no work” status. This means a reduction in the amount of money you will receive.
While this transition should be a simple one, it is often anything but simple. We have found that many injured workers are paid incorrectly or not paid at all. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can ensure that the lost wages and indemnity benefits to which you may be entitled are paid timely and correctly.
A reduction in the amount paid by workers’ compensation may occur when income impairment benefits are paid. Florida places a burden on the workers’ compensation insurance companies to pay money to injured workers based on a permanent impairment rating (PIR). The PIR is assigned at the time an authorized workers’ compensation doctor (or doctors) places an injured worker at maximum medical improvement (MMI). Once placed at MMI, indemnity checks cease and a new type of check is issued. These checks are paid for a fixed duration based on the percentage of impairment assigned. The amount will differ depending on certain facts such as whether the injured worker is employed and if so, how much they are earning.