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What happens if someone doesn’t fully recover from work injuries?

On Behalf of | Aug 22, 2023 | Workers' Compensation |

Thousands of workers every year get hurt on the job in Florida and need to utilize workers’ compensation benefits as a result. The law generally requires workers’ compensation coverage for employees in virtually all professions, even part-time high school workers. Employers must purchase coverage that applies to all of their workers unless a specific exception applies to their company or industry.

Then, if someone gets hurt on the job, workers’ compensation will pay for the injured worker’s medical treatments. Additionally, if they miss work because of the medical care that they require or they are subject to an order from a physician recommending rest, they can receive temporary disability benefits that can either replace up to two-thirds of their paycheck or cover the difference in wages if they receive less pay because of the injuries impact on their job performance. With that said, the situation changes if a worker suffers lasting limitations on the work they can do because of an injury.

Disability benefits will change

Once enough time has passed, temporary disability benefits will no longer be an option. Workers may need to qualify for permanent disability benefits. When the lingering symptoms of a job-related health condition are so severe that someone cannot work at all, they may be eligible for permanent total disability benefits. However, such extreme medical consequences are rare. More often, workers have only partial disability, meaning they can work but may have to accept lower wages in the future. There are also permanent partial disability benefits that can help replace the lost earning potential of someone who can still work but who can no longer earn the same competitive wages they previously commanded.

Medical benefits will also change

When a doctor determines that someone will not fully recover from their medical condition, they can fill out paperwork indicating that the worker receiving benefits has reached maximum medical improvement. At that point, medical coverage would only be available for symptom management or a future flare-up where the condition gets worse. Treatment will no longer be eligible for coverage given that a worker is unlikely to recover with additional medical interventions.

Workers may need to seek out a second opinion or get help navigating the benefits available to them to better manage their circumstances when they have lingering consequences from a job-related health condition. Learning more about the options available for those with long-term consequences from a work-acquired medical condition can help those people reduce the lasting financial impacts of their situation in this regard.