What Are Florida’s Workers Compensation Requirements?

Whether you’re an employer or an injured employee, there are workers’ compensation requirements you need to follow.

In Florida, just like the rest of the country, workers who are injured on the job are entitled to workers’ comp benefits. But they need to comply with certain requirements first before they can do so. One of them is having workers comp insurance which the state requires from certain business owners.

To help you figure out what you need to comply with, here’s a quick guide on Florida’s workers’ compensation requirements.

How Florida’s Workers Comp Works

Florida’s workers’ compensation system relies on private market insurers. Meaning, workers’ comp benefits are provided by private insurance companies. This is why the state requires certain businesses to provide workers comp insurance for their workers.

But this workers comp coverage isn’t just for the employees, it’s for the employers too. It protects them from the unexpected costs of work-related accidents.

Under Florida law, workers can claim medical benefits, wage loss benefits, and death loss benefits if they got injured at work. Without insurance coverage, the employer will have to pay all that. If they’re running a small business, the financial impact can be significant.

Since it’s privately funded, workers’ comp claims are filed against the insurance company. The insurance provider will then determine the eligibility of the injured worker. If the claim is denied, the injured worker can appeal their case before an administrative law judge.

workers compensation claim form and black ballpen and gavel on the black background

Workers Comp Requirements for Employers

If you’re running a business in Florida and have employees, here are the workers’ comp requirements you need to know:

Coverage Requirements

First of all, not all businesses are required by law to provide workers comp coverage for their employees. Florida’s workers’ comp law is very specific when it comes to coverage requirements.

If your business doesn’t fit the following criteria, then you are not legally liable to give your employees’ workers comp coverage:

Construction Industry

  • businesses with at least one employee including owners who are corporate officers or Limited Liability Company (LLC) members

Non-Construction Industry

  • businesses with four or more employees including owners who are corporate officers or Limited Liability Company (LLC) members

Agricultural Industry

  • businesses employing six regular workers and/or twelve seasonal workers

Out of State Employers

  • businesses operating out of Florida but with employees in the state should inform their insurance provider of such. If there’s no insurance coverage, they will have to buy an insurance policy from a state-approved insurance carrier.

Contractors

  • before beginning work on a project, contractors must make sure that all subcontractors have workers comp coverage.

Exemption

Business owners who are officers of a corporation or members of a limited liability company may opt-out of the workers’ comp coverage. But the exemption will only be applicable to them and not their employees.

To apply for an exemption, you must submit a Notice of Election to be Exempt. You can apply for it online or file it in person at the Office of the Florida Division of Workers Compensation (DWC).

Penalties

Employers who fail to comply with the workers’ comp coverage requirement may receive a stop-work order from the DWC. This means all your operations will have to cease until you pay the penalty.

Workers comp penalties are usually twice the insurance premium the employer would have paid for the past two years.

What To Do When an Employee Files a Workers Comp Claim

As an employer, you need to inform your insurance provider when an employee files a workers comp claim. Under Florida law, you must inform them within 7 days after you’ve known of the injury or illness. Refusal or failure to do so may result in an administrative fine of not more than $500.

Workers Comp Requirements for Employees

As mentioned, injured employees need to meet certain requirements to claim workers’ comp benefits. Here are some of them:

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for workers comp benefits in Florida, you must:

  • have a work-related injury or illness;
  • have workers comp coverage;
  • report your injury or illness within 30 days after you had knowledge of it
  • have your injury or illness treated by a doctor accredited by your insurance provider

Failure to meet any of the above can give your insurance carrier a reason to deny your claim.

Documentary Requirements

If you’re planning to file a workers’ comp claim soon, you will need to prepare the following documents:

  • Injury report containing the date, time, and circumstance of your injury. Note that this may vary per employer. Some will require you to submit a letter while others have forms and paperworks you need to fill up.
  • Medical reports detailing your injury. If your injury is related to a previous injury or medical condition, it’s better to include your medical history records too.
  • Witness statements. Interview people who can attest about your injury and how it affected your ability work. Have them sign an official statement and include it in your supporting documentation.

If you have an experienced workers compensation lawyer like Victor Malca, you won’t have to worry about these documentary requirements. He can help you produce the necessary evidence to support your claim. He has already helped thousands of injured workers in Florida and he can help you too. Call us now if you want to get the benefits you rightfully deserve.

VICTOR MALCA LAW – A TRUSTED NAME IN FLORIDA

Victor Malca P.A. has over 25 years of litigation experience in Workers Compensation and Social Security Disability lawsuits. His experience and continued success in fighting for his clients puts among the most trusted workers’ compensation lawyers in Florida. Our area of expertise is in representing injured workers on compensation benefit cases and disabled individuals claim social security disability benefits.

Our unwavering advocacy for employee rights and privileges are recognized by our past clients across South Florida. Book a free consultation today.

Judy Ponio is a writer for Victor Malca LawAbout The Author

Judy Ponio is a writer for Victor Malca Law P.A. and enjoys helping people with questions about social security, workers compensation, and other serious matters involving people’s livelihood. She is not an attorney and her writing should not be considered legal advice.

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