When injured on the job, the workers compensation carrier is obligated to pay lost wages to you for the period of time you are determined to be incapable of working. The determination regarding your work status must be made by a doctor authorized by the workers compensation carrier. There are only 3 determinations a workers compensation doctor can make regarding your work status. 1. No work status. 2. Release to work with restrictions. 3. Released to work with no restrictions. There is a specific amount you are eligible to receive from the work comp carrier in the form of wage loss benefits. This amount is referred to as your “compensation rate,” or “comp rate,” for short. Your comp rate is determined through applying a specific formula. This article will not discuss the formula for lost wages because that issue is addressed in one of our previously published articles available for your review.
When the workers compensation carrier suspends payment of lost wages, it often happens without any notice to you whatsoever. A typical suspension of wage loss benefits proceeds as follows: You are expecting a check for lost wages (called indemnity benefits). Some work comp carriers provide debit cards through which they deposit indemnity benefits. Most work comp carriers send checks through the mail. You’ve probably been receiving this check for a number of weeks or months. You rely on this check. Being out of work in connection with a job injury has caused financial strain for you and your family. The workers compensation carriers don’t pay you 100% of what you were making before the date of the accident that caused your job injuries. The reduced amount paid makes the financial burden more frustrating. Wage loss checks are generally paid every 14 days; or two weeks. So, the day you usually discover the check in the mail arrives. You go to your mailbox. You look through your mail. The main envelope you’re looking for is the one from the work comp carrier with your wage loss check enclosed. After shuffling through your mail to be sure, you conclude the check is not there. A degree of panic usually set is. However, most people do not experience particularly severe reactions to the missing check at first. Most people injured on the job tend to think that perhaps the check will arrive tomorrow. Well, tomorrow rolls around. The routine involving checking your mail is repeated. The check remains missing! At this point, people are more likely to panic. If you’re not represented by an attorney, you may try and call the work comp adjuster. You’ll likely wind up leaving a voice message. If you are represented, you would call your attorney’s office. If we represent you, we know exactly how to proceed in the event one of our clients is not receiving wage loss benefits they’re entitled to.
What are your options? 1. Retain an attorney if you don’t already have one. 2. Attempt to file what’s called a Petition for Benefits on your own. The Petition would be requesting payment of lost wages in the form of temporary total (TTD) and temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits from the date of your accident to the present and continuing. We don’t recommend that anyone undertake the filing of a Petition for Benefits on their own; much like we wouldn’t recommend that anyone without any experience attempt to fly a plane alone without any instruction or guidance. In the interest of being thorough, we mention filing on your own as an option. The specific amounts you’re entitled to requires application of the formula codified in the Fla. Stat. 440.15.  We often find that workers compensation insurance companies fail to pay the amount you’re entitled to. Contacting our office for a free consultation to determine if you are being paid correctly is an option for you. Under such circumstances, it is likely to be your best option. Contacting us for a free consultation is of no risk to you. We will provide as much information as we can. There is no fee for the consultation and no expectation that you will retain us to represent you. We undertake representation of individuals everyday in various causes of action. We’re more concerned with providing a positive impression in dealing with our firm than we are in simply signing another client up. As a firm, our mission is focusing on an individual client’s needs and concerns. We provide clients with their attorney’s personal cell phone number. Unlike the majority of other firms that handle the areas of law that Dolman Law Group does, success is not measured by the number of open cases in any given month. Success is measured by the number of satisfied clients month after month, year after year. We can be reached at 727-853-6275 or online.
Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652