The $600 weekly Federal boost to State Unemployment benefits expires on Friday, 7/31/20. The U.S. Congress is still negotiating an extension, with the Democrats current plan to extend the $600 to the end of the year, and the Republican plan (unveiled today) being $200 for two months and then switching to a 70% of income formula. It will probably wind up somewhere in between those two plans. We may also see a change in claimant’s wanting to return to work as it may no longer be as lucrative to collect unemployment versus light duty.
Regardless, the offset to WC changes on Friday, 7/31. What it will be we don’t know yet, and if nothing is agreed to, it may revert to the Florida maximum of $275 until a deal is made. Also, once a deal is made, it may or may not be retroactive to 8/1/20, so we may be dealing with overpayments.
I would strongly recommend sending out DWC-19 Employee Earning reports for August so we can capture this moving target. It also will give you an argument (arguably) against attorney fees, penalties and interest on any underpayments, but you will have to document and prove the forms were sent.
And remember, you can send DWC-19’s not only TPD, but also TTD, PTD and IB’s.
If the employee refuses to report the DWC-19 within 21 days after receipt of the request, payments of workers’ compensation disability benefits for temporary total, temporary partial, permanent total or permanent total supplemental compensation shall cease until such time as the employee furnishes the signed form.
For dates of accident on or after October 1, 2003, upon the request of the claims-handling entity, any employee eligible for impairment income benefits shall complete, sign, and return Form DFS-F2-DWC-19 within 21 days after receiving it to report all earnings. The claims-handling entity may require the employee to send Form DFS-F2-DWC-19 no more than once a month. If the employee refuses to report earnings within 21 days after receipt of the request payment of workers’ compensation disability benefits for impairment income benefits shall cease until such time as the employee furnishes the signed form.
In Florida, Unemployment Benefits are a direct dollar for dollar offset to TPD (calculate the TPD and then deduct the UE) and a bar to collecting TTD.
Morgan Indek | Managing Partner