What Is “Disability” For The Purposes Of Collecting First Responder Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
If you’re a First Responder, Section 112.18 of the Florida Statutes provides that any condition or impairment caused by tuberculosis, heart disease or hypertension resulting in total or partial disability or death is presumed accidental and be suffered in the line of duty, unless contrary evidence is shown by competent substantial evidence.
Of course, you’ll have to successfully pass the physical examination upon entering into employment which did not reveal any evidence of any such condition for the presumption to be applicable.
You are also required to show that you were disabled and restricted from working before you’re entitled to compensation or medical benefits.
What medical evidence is required to establish disability?
In the case of the City of Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department v. Battle, Mr. Battle was a firefighter who had successfully passed his pre-employment physical. He developed hypertension and heart disease and underwent a catheterization. He was taken out of work following the procedure for 3 days by his doctor.
The City of Jacksonville denied his claim on the basis that he wasn’t disabled, notwithstanding the fact that his physician had restricted him from working for 3 days.
As expected, the First District Court of Appeals upheld the Judge of Compensation Claims’ finding that Mr. Battles was disabled and restricted from working because of the catheterization.
What should I do if my First Responder claim has been denied?
Contact Florida Workers’ Compensation First Responder attorney Nancy Cavey who can help you get the Workers’ Compensation money benefits and medical benefits you deserve. Call today at 727-894-3188.