I hope everyone is managing to get through this stressful time. We will get back to normal…eventually. Promise.
Florida WC law provides for a reduction/offset in benefits if the claimant is receiving unemployment benefits (UE). Last week, a record number of people filed for unemployment benefits, 3.3 million people nationwide. Florida had 74,000 new claims, 12 times the number from the week before.
Florida’s UE benefits had been a maximum of $275 a week for up to 26 weeks. The new Federal CARES Act signed on Friday will increase the benefits substantially. It will add $600 to the weekly benefit, so the maximum Florida benefit will be $875, and it adds 13 weeks more weeks of eligibility, so a total of 39 weeks. The $600 increase ends 7/31, so make sure to note that for the offset. The CARES Act also expands UE to part-time workers and self-employed, and also makes those furloughed but still on the employer’s books eligible for benefits..
A claimant can not receive UE and Temporary Total Disability, so if this occurs, you can suspend TTD.
Unemployment is an offset to Temporary Partial Disability. Calculate the TPD owed, and then subtract the UE amount. It is NOT income that goes into the 80%/80% formula, it is deducted at the end after the formula.
440.15(10) EMPLOYEE ELIGIBLE FOR BENEFITS UNDER THIS CHAPTER WHO HAS RECEIVED OR IS ENTITLED TO RECEIVE REEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE.—
(a) No compensation benefits shall be payable for temporary total disability or permanent total disability under this chapter for any week in which the injured employee has received, or is receiving, reemployment assistance or unemployment compensation benefits.
(b) If an employee is entitled to temporary partial benefits pursuant to subsection (4) and reemployment assistance or unemployment compensation benefits, such reemployment assistance or unemployment compensation benefits shall be primary and the temporary partial benefits shall be supplemental only, the sum of the two benefits not to exceed the amount of temporary partial benefits which would otherwise be payable.
On another note, the CARES Act is also the legislation that will be providing the $1,200 check to individuals in the coming weeks. The Act states the funds are not reportable for Federal income tax, so its unlikely that it will be an offset or earnings for the TPD formula.
Morgan Indek | Managing Partner