Impairment Income Benefits – Florida Workers’ Compensation
When an injured worker is placed maximum medical improvement, the treating physician assigns an impairment rating. The impairment rating is based on the amount of permanent dysfunction according to the 1996 Florida Impairment Rating Guide.
An injured worker must be at overall maximum medical improvement for all conditions for the impairment benefits to become payable.
For psychiatric injuries, the impairment rating is limited to one percent.Florida Statute 440.15 (3)(c) states “If objective medical findings can substantiate a permanent psychiatric impairment resulting from the accident, permanent impairment benefits are limited for the permanent psychiatric impairment to 1-percent permanent impairment.”
Impairment income benefits are paid according to a formular set forth in Florida Statute 440.15(3)(g):
1. Two weeks of benefits are to be paid for each percentage point of impairment from 1-10 percent.
2. For each percentage point of impairment from 11- 15 percent, 3 weeks of benefits are to be paid.
3. For each percentage point of impairment from 16-20 percent, 4 weeks of benefits are to be paid.
4. For each percentage point of impairment from 21 percent and higher, 6 weeks of benefits are to be paid.
Number of weeks payable
2 weeks per percentage point
3 weeks per percentage point
4 weeks per percentage point
6 weeks per percentage point
The weeks compound. As an example, if there is a 16 percent rating overall, the formula is applied as follows:
20 weeks for percentage points 1-10; 15 weeks for percentage points 11-15; 4 weeks for the one additional percentage point.
Therefore, a 16% impairment rating would translate to 39 weeks of impairment income benefits.
There can be some nuanced differences associated with impairment income benefits if an individual is approaching the expiration of temporary benefits or is permanently and totally disabled.
If you have questions regarding impairment income benefits, feel free to reach out for a free consultation. You can call our office or schedule a consult here.
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