I hope all of you are healthy, and managing to cope with the stress of this temporarily crazy world. Remember, this is temporary, we will get through it.
Thought I would share a few of the Florida questions that I have been getting about various situations due to the…uh….situation.
- TPD and economic layoffs- If the employer was not accommodating light duty prior to the layoff, you still owe TPD. If the ER was accommodating light duty before a true layoff (not just the claimant), arguably the accident is not the major contributing cause of the lost wages and you can deny TPD. However, this is not a permanent denial. If the claimant proves he is unable to get another job because of his restrictions, TPD could be due again from a certain point forward. If the ER was partially accommodating light duty, and you were paying some TPD prior to the layoff, you still owe that portion of TPD you were paying before. You can only deem the earnings of what you had been offering.
- Medical non-compliance/suspending indemnity- Claimant refusing to go to PT or the doctor because of fear of getting sick. The test for medical non-compliance is always whether the claimant’s refusal to attend the appointments was reasonable. And it takes more than one missed appointment. These would be a case by case basis, what would the JCC believe.
- Doctor’s offices closing- Some of our providers are closing offices. Its unclear for how long, but eventually we may have to provide a different provider, or at a minimum re-authorize the walk-in clinic in the interim..
- Layoffs- make sure to check on whether health insurance is ending and when to amend the AWW.
I’ll share the questions I get with you each week as we sort through this new temporary world.
Our first COVID-19 Florida Webinar CEU is full with over 500 signed up so we have a second one set for 3/26. We also have the 5 hr law and ethics set for 4/1. The following week we will have one on Telecommuting and working from home (date still TBD) . Flyers attached.
Morgan Indek | Managing Partner