Your Florida Supplemental Wage Loss Benefits Can’t be Reduced by Your Post Injury Pension | Bradenton Pension Disability Claims Attorney
If an injured Florida worker has a permanent impairment rating of at least 20% after having reached maximum medical improvement, the worker might be entitled to Florida worker’s compensation supplemental wage loss benefits. That worker may also be entitled to Florida city and state pension disability benefits and workers’ compensation benefits at the same time. How do these benefits interact and can your workers compensation benefits be reduced?
Florida permanent impairment or supplemental wage loss benefits are very valuable money benefits and, depending on your average weekly wage and compensation rate, could be in excess of $50,000.
The City of Miami Beach attempted to reduce those benefits by the receipt of a pension in the case of Wilder v. City of Miami Beach, 33 FLW D2436 ( October 24, 2008)
The First District Court of Appeal said “No!”
F.S. 440.15(3)(b)1 says that an injured Florida worker will get supplemental wage loss benefits, if the claimant “has not returned to work, or has returned to work earning less than 80% of the employee’s average weekly wage,” and if the claimant “has in good faith attempted to obtain employment commensurate with the claimants ability to work.”
The court found that the phrase “has returned to work” implied that earning does not include money collected while not working, such as a pension or, for that matter, investment earnings. The court held that a post injury pension did not meet the common understanding of wages or earnings.”
The court reversed the Judge of Compensation Claims ruling that denied the payment of supplemental benefits based upon the receipt of a pension after a workers compensation injury. Mr. Wilder will now be entitled to supplement loss benefits without any reduction for receipt of his pension. Has your employer attempted to reduce the receipt of your workers compensation benefits, because you’re getting a post-injury city or state pension disability? If so, they can’t do it!
I am finding that some Employer/Carriers are not determining the correct amount of an injured worker’s permanent impairment rating and, as a result, injured Florida workers do not always get the correct amount of workers compensation benefits. As a result, we are referred our clients to independent physicians for an evaluation of the amount of the injured employee’s permanent impairment rating and have filed claims for the payment of permanent impairment or supplemental wage loss benefits.
If you have not been given a permanent impairment rating for the amount of your Florida workers’ compensation impairment benefits and or supplemental wage loss benefits, please contact workers’ compensation/Florida city and state pension disability lawyer Nancy Cavey who is based in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Answering these broad-based questions isn’t easy. Help is a phone call away. You can contact Nancy Cavey, an experienced long-term disability attorney at 727-894-3188 today!