Quick Facts on Florida Workers' Compensation Act

What is the purpose of the division?

The Department of Financial Services’ Division of Workers' Compensation regulates employers and insurers to ensure prompt, accurate benefit payments and appropriate, timely services to workers injured on the job to facilitate their gainful re-employment at a reasonable cost to employers.

Who is eligible for workers’ compensation coverage?

Florida law requires most employers to provide workers' compensation coverage for their employees. Such coverage typically offers reimbursement to workers injured on the job for medical expenses and a portion of lost wages.

What assistance is provided to employees and employers?

The division’s Bureau of Employee Assistance disseminates information and carries out several other duties to assist employees, employers, and health care providers.

Employees—explains procedures for filing petitions for benefits, assists with drafting a petition for benefits, and investigates disputes and attempts to facilitate an agreement.

Employers—reviews and investigates notices of denial.

Health care providers—investigates unpaid medical bills.

The division has field offices throughout the state and operates a Hotline (800-342-1741) for employees and the Employer Help line (850-921-6966). Additional assistance is available to employers through the division’s Bureau of Compliance.

How can workers’ compensation disputes be resolved?

Employees can obtain assistance with resolving workers' compensation disputes from one of the division’s employee assistance offices. If the dispute is unresolved, the office can assist employees in completing and filing a Petition for Benefits. The Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims resolves disputes through mediation or by holding a hearing before a compensation judge, if necessary.

How effective is the division in performing its functions?

In Fiscal Year 2007-08, 65% of injured workers obtained benefits due to intervention by the division. In addition, 94% of first indemnity payments were made timely.

Other performance measures and standards for the division may be found in the department’s Long Range Program Plan.

How is the division funded?

The Legislature appropriated the division $32,225,999 and 353 positions for Fiscal Year 2009-10.  This includes $30,908,795 from the Workers’ Compensation Administration Trust Fund and $1,317,204 from the Special Disability Trust Fund. Revenues for these trust funds are generated from assessments paid by workers’ compensation insurance carriers and self-insurers.

Current issues

Group Self Insurance Funds. Chapter 2009-116, Laws of Florida, revises laws governing group self insurance funds, formed by employers under the workers’ compensation act, by requiring policyholders to contribute money necessary for the fund to meet any unpaid obligations. The law also authorizes two or more electric cooperatives to operate a self-insurance fund for pooling and spreading liabilities of group members in securing payment of benefits for workers’ compensation purposes.

Whistle-Blower Website. In June 2009, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer launched a new website to allow citizens to submit referrals of alleged violations of workers’ compensation rules. The electronic non-compliance referral website makes it easier for citizens to submit a complaint and provides real-time feedback to complainants on the status of their referrals.

 

OPPAGA Reports

The Workers’ Compensation Program Makes Progress by Implementing Recommendation, Report No. 01-15, March 2001.

Other Reports

2008 Annual Report, Division of Workers’ Compensation.

Joint Report to The President of the Florida Senate and The Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, The Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Insurance Fraud and Division of Workers’ Compensation, January 2006.

Review of the 2003 Workers’ Compensation Act, The Florida Senate, Interim Project Report 2004-110, December 2003.

The Office of the Chief Financial Officer and the Transfer of the Department of Insurance and the Department of Banking and Finance to the Department of Financial Services, Florida Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance, Report No. 2003-109, January 2003.

Additional reports and publications, including workers’ compensation brochures, can be found on the division’s website.

Websites of Interest

Workers’ Compensation Joint Underwriting Association www.fwcjua.com

Florida Self-Insurers Guaranty Association, Inc. www.fsiga.org

Workers’ Compensation Research Institute www.wcrinet.org

National Council on Compensation Insurance www.ncci.com/NCCIMain/Pages/Default.aspx

U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs www.dol.gov/dol/topic/workcomp/index.htm  

What are the applicable statutes?

Chapter 440 and s. 20.121, Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?

Andrew Sabolic, Policy Coordinator, Division of Workers' Compensation, 200 E. Gaines St., Tallahassee, FL 32399, (850) 488-2514 or 800-342-1741

Website: www.fldfs.com/WC

 

Published by Defense-Base-Act-Lawyers.com. If you have suffered an injury at work in Miami Dade, Broward or anywhere in the State of Florida call our Florida Workers Compensation Law Firm for a free initial consultation to discuss your case. Our attorneys have 30+ years of experience handling Florida Workers Comp cases and we will put this experience to work for your case. Call 305.595.3350 or contact us now »