The State of Florida has unique requirements, compared to other states in the U.S., for employers applying for Workers’ Compensation benefits. Below are the common categories of work industry that are obliged to carry a workman’s compensation insurance.
• Construction Industry – with at least one full-time or part-time employee, including the business owner who are corporate officers or Limited Liability Company (LLC) members
• Non-Construction Industry – with at least four full-time or part-time employees, including the business owner who are corporate officers or Limited Liability Company (LLC) members
• Agricultural Industry – with at least six regular employees and/or twelve temporary employees who work more than 30 days for a season but not exceeding to 45 days in a calendar year
• Out of State Employers
• Contractors and Sun-Contractors
Are there any exemptions to the state-required workers’ comp? Yes, in fact, the sole proprietors and partners in the non-construction industry are not required to provide a workers comp policy but they can apply for one if they wanted to.
An employer’s failure to carry a workers’ comp insurance makes the business vulnerable to dangers, especially the work-related risks. And in lawsuit, when proven that the employer has failed to take proper actions at work or to his or her employees, penalties will be imposed.
Here Is How Workers Comp Work
The Florida law is a strong back up of the employees in the state when an unpredictable accident happens or disease spreads at work. As the law provides a mandatory coverage for almost every worker, the employees can enjoy the following benefits.
Employees injured from a work-related accident or illness will be given access to an authorized physician without paying a penny because the workers compensation insurance companies or the state-funded workers compensation cover the bills.
Medical benefits include travel expenses for medical visits, doctor consultations, medical procedures, rehabilitations, confinement, prescribed medicines, even replacement of lost body part with a prosthetics can be covered.
However, this benefit is limited by the Maximum Medical Improvement or MMI. The MMI is determined by the physician when the injured employee’s medical condition can no longer be improved after all the treatment and rehabilitations performed. The law is very particular that it is the employer’s responsibility to pay for the work injury compensation of their employees. But once the employee reached the MMI, he or she will be required to pay $10 on top of the benefits that the workmen compensation policy provides.
When the employee is unable to work for more than seven calendar days as a result of an accident or illness on the job, he or she will qualify for wage replacement benefit. The first seven lost days will be paid only if the injured employee is disabled for more than 21 days. The employee will receive 2/3 of the pre-injury weekly wage but will not be greater than Florida’s average weekly wage.
To help the employers and employees understand their roles and benefits, the Division of Workers’ Compensation provides these brochures.
In the event that the employee becomes disabled because of the workplace accident or sickness but still wants to work, he or she can reach out to the Employee Assistance Office (EAO) at WCRES@MyFloridaCFO.com or call 1-800-342-1741 for assistance with reemployment. For more details about the state’s reemployment services, you may refer to the Workers’ Compensation Reemployment Services Brochure.
Kinds of Injuries That Are Not Covered
The truth is government-funded Workers’ Compensation coverage does cover all kinds of workplace injuries and illnesses. To give you an idea how it is in Florida, following are the conditions that are not afforded by the insurance:
• Mental or nervous injury due to stress, fright, or excitement
• Work related condition that causes an employee to have fear or dislike for another individual because of the individual’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or handicap
• “Pain and suffering,” a legal term for the physical and emotional stress caused from an injury
For more details, check the FAQs about Florida’s Workers Compensation.
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