Law Firm Blog

How Long is the Typical Waiting Period for Benefits in Florida?

The waiting period deadline is just one important deadline in a Florida workers’ compensation matter.

The extended waiting period for workers’ compensation benefits in Florida, which is usually 21 days, is a leftover provision from the former pro-insurance company workers’ compensation law. This law’s proponents claim that the long waiting period is necessary to curb employee workers’ compensation fraud. However, only about 1 percent of workers’ compensation claims involve employee fraud. Employer fraud, such as intentionally misclassifying employees, is a much bigger problem.

A Pasco County workers’ compensation lawyer cannot do much about the waiting period. However, an attorney can use the law to ensure that victims receive maximum compensation for their lost wages. Attorneys also work to ensure that the insurance company pays all reasonably necessary medical bills. We also do follow-up work in these matters if a provider illegally bills a victim for services rendered.

Claims Deadline

The 21-day waiting period is just a one-time deadline to be mindful of in workers’ compensation matters. The claims deadline, which is usually thirty days from the date of injury, is an even bigger one.

The law is a bit unclear as to what kind of notice is necessary. A text or email may be insufficient. Most insurance companies require written notice on paper. Furthermore, that notice must be in the form the insurance company prefers.

Our Pasco County workers' compensation lawyers typically recommend that clients send immediate electronic notice and then follow up with snail mail notice. Many injured workers have limited English proficiency. If that’s the case, we’re glad to help.

Claims deadlines usually are not an issue in falls, motor vehicle collisions, and other trauma injury matters. However, they could be a major issue in occupational disease claims, such as hearing loss. Usually, by the time the victim sees a doctor and the doctor identifies the problem, the claims deadline has long since passed.

The delayed discovery rule usually protects victims in these situations. Legally, injured victims must file claims after they know the full extent of their injuries and connect those injuries with their work environments.

So, if you have a work-related illness or injury, always ask an attorney to evaluate your case and determine what compensation you might be entitled to.

How Long Does Workers’ Compensation Last in Florida?

Occupational disease treatment usually lasts for several years. Likewise, medical treatment for falls and other injuries could last several months or years, especially when taking physical or occupational therapy into account.

Legally, injured workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for up to five years in Florida. However, the MMI (maximum medical improvement) rule often comes into play in these situations.

The MMI milestone usually comes during treatment for an occupational disease or physical therapy for an injury. Basically, the doctor states that further treatment or therapy would be useless since the victim’s medical condition will not improve. These arguments are especially common in Florida because injured workers must see company doctors.

However, insurance companies cannot stop victims from obtaining second opinions from highly qualified doctors. These doctors, who usually charge nothing upfront for their services, usually have radically different conclusions about the victim’s prognosis. So, a lawyer can keep the money flowing.

Work With a Dedicated Pasco County Workers Compensation Lawyer

Injured workers have important legal and financial rights in Florida. For a free consultation with a board-certified workers’ compensation lawyer in New Port Richey, contact the Rooth Law Firm. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.