How MUCH Time Does A Florida First Responder NEED to Miss to Be Disabled For Presumption Purposes?
Just because you are covered by the Florida Heart and Lung Act, does not mean you get benefits. You have to be disabled! OK, but HOW long do you have to be out to meet the disability standard?
In an awful decision in Bivens v. City of Lakeland, 33 Fla.L. Weekly D2342b (October 2, 2008), the First District noted that “disability occurs only when the employee becomes actually incapacitated, partially or totally, from performing his employment.” A finding of “disability hinges solely on the employee’s ability to earn incomes, not upon other factors such as whether the employee has experienced a wage loss.
Bivens testified his micro-vascular angina did not effect his ability to perform his duties as a firefighter and he could also do the physical requirements of his job. He did miss time for testing, doctor’s appointments and missed six days after a heart catheterization. The court ruled that missing time for testing was not disability. . . “the detection of an occupational disease does not necessarily coincide with the date of disablement from the disease. The court noted that “if testing or treatment, standing alone, equaled ‘disability,’ everyone would be disabled upon their first visit to a doctor’s office”.
So, make sure your doctor opinions that while you are having testing or treatment, that you are incapable of performing your duties as a result of your condition and that you don’t perform those duties.
Call an experienced Florida First Responder workers’ compensation attorney like Nancy Cavey if you have any questions about disability for Heart and Lung Claims.