People who have been injured on the job in Florida and find themselves unable to work may be entitled to benefits through federal workers’ compensation. All employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance in order to provide for their employees in the event that a catastrophic disabling injury happens.
As NPR points out, workers’ compensation benefits vary greatly from state to state, and some have it a lot worse than others. For instance, Alabama and Georgia have very different benefits programs for workers who are amputated while on the job. When two workers living across the border from one another suffered comparable injuries, the one living in Georgia received benefits that might equate to $740,000 in his lifetime, while the Alabama worker received $45,000 total.
The limits of Florida workers’ compensation
Florida workers face significant restrictions to the benefits they may be paid, even in the event of life-altering injuries. Florida’s Chief Financial Officer states that Florida workers may only receive workers compensation benefits for a maximum of 104 weeks, even if someone suffers an injury so severe that he or she cannot work the same kind of job for life.
In addition, all temporary total disability benefits are capped at 80% of regular wages that would normally be paid by working full time, and only for a six month period. However, most people who are disabled on the job only get two-thirds of their regular wages for the duration.
The odds are stacked against Florida workers, as it can be difficult to continue to live a sustainable life when they are given a significant cut in pay at best. This is a result of a policy that considers it satisfactory to only “partly replace” what injured workers can no longer earn.