In the period from January through November 2023, The Florida Office of Worker’s Compensation Programs received 8,712 claims. Understanding the workers’ compensation process is important. If you suffer an injury or illness at work, this system provides medical benefits and wage replacement. However, navigating this process can sometimes seem complex.
Knowing the steps involved and what to expect will help you effectively manage your claim and ensure you receive the benefits you deserve.
Report the injury
The first step in the workers’ compensation process is to report your injury to your employer. You must do this as soon as possible, ideally within 30 days of the injury or from the time you discover that the injury or illness is work-related. Delaying the report can lead to complications in your claim.
Receive medical treatment
Once you report your injury, your employer will direct you to an authorized medical provider. It is important to note that you must see a provider approved by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance, not your personal doctor. The authorized medical provider will evaluate your condition and provide the necessary treatment.
File a claim
Your employer should report the injury to their workers’ compensation insurance carrier. The insurance carrier will then file a claim with the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation. You will receive information about your claim and the benefits you are eligible for.
If the insurance company accepts your claim, you will start receiving benefits. These benefits may include coverage for your medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages if you are unable to work due to your injury. The amount and duration of the benefits depend on the severity of your injury and your ability to return to work.
Return to work
The goal of workers’ compensation is to help you recover and return to work. When your doctor determines you can return to work, either in a limited capacity or fully, the insurance company may adjust your benefits or discontinue them.
Workers’ compensation benefits are there to support your recovery and return to work. Knowing the process ensures that you take the right steps to secure the benefits you need for a smooth and efficient recovery.