Can Liens Affect Workers’ Comp Benefits?
Even when workers’ compensation claims are successful, certain liens can affect how much injured individuals receive.
When a worker is injured on the job in Florida, they are often entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. This compensation provides a percentage of the injured worker’s salary and medical bills. However, workers are often surprised to learn that a lien has been placed against the total amounts of benefits they are eligible to receive. These liens mean that another person or organization has the right to a certain portion of the benefits the injured worker will receive. If you are applying for workers’ compensation, it is important that you understand what liens may be placed against your workers’ compensation claim.
Medicare and Medicaid Liens
When a worker is injured on the job, they often incur medical expenses before they receive their workers’ compensation benefits. To get the help they need to pay for those medical bills, workers sometimes rely on programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. In these cases, the insurance companies that provide workers’ compensation benefits are required to report the injuries in a workers’ comp claim to the government agencies.
If the injuries reported by the insurance company match the injuries and expenses Medicare and Medicaid paid for, the agencies have a right to place a lien on the workers’ compensation claim. Before workers’ compensation benefits are paid out, the portion that government programs paid for are then repaid to those agencies.
Child Support Liens
In Florida, as in all other states, parents are considered financially responsible for their children. If the injured worker is behind on their child support payments, the judge will place a lien on the workers’ compensation settlement. This lien allows a portion of the workers’ compensation settlement to be redirected to the parent that should receive the child support payments.
Liens on Personal Injury Lawsuits
Sometimes, an injured worker can file a workers’ compensation claim and a third-party personal injury claim. Workers hurt on the job can file a personal injury claim when someone else’s negligence caused their injuries and that person is not an employer or co-worker.
If these personal injury claims are settled or decided on by a judge prior to a workers’ compensation claim being finalized, the attorney representing the injured worker must tell the judge of the injury case settlement. The judge then issues an order that places a lien on the personal injury settlement so the workers’ compensation insurance company can recover any compensation they have already paid.
Contact Our Florida Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for Help with Your Claim
There are many complicated aspects of workers’ compensation claims, and liens are just one of them. At Rooth Law Firm, P.A., our New Port Richey workers’ compensation lawyer is here to help you overcome all of the challenges so you secure the benefits you need. Attorney Joseph M. Rooth is a board-certified attorney in workers’ compensation law by the Florida Bar Association, which is a distinction fewer than one percent of Florida lawyers have. He will put his skill and experience to work for you to help you receive the benefits you deserve. Call him today at (727) 849-3400 to learn more about how he can help with your claim.