Volunteers and Workers Compensation

One area of workers compensation that varies significantly from state to state is how volunteers are treated by the workers compensation statutes.   While employees are almost always covered for workers compensation, work comp coverage for volunteers is not mandatory in most states. The different states do not even agree on whether or not a volunteer is entitled to workers compensation benefits. In the states that do allow workers compensation benefits for volunteers, there is no uniformity of what constitutes a volunteer. Therefore, this discussion of volunteers and workers compensation will be generic.
 
 

While volunteers
can be found in almost any type of business, they are most often associated with charitable organizations, religious organizations, non-profit organizations, hospitals and governmental departments – like volunteer firefighters, paramedics, forest service and parks. (Some states that do not recognize volunteers as employees make exceptions for volunteer firefighters covering them as employees while not covering other volunteers). (WCxKit)
 
 

Workers compensation
is meant to cover employers for employees who are injured while working. A volunteer, is not an employee, but is providing a benefit to the employer. By definition, a volunteer is a person who provides services without the expectation of compensation or any kind. To be a true volunteer, the person providing the volunteer service – not the employer – determines when the volunteer works, both how often and how long. If the employer is setting precise hours, and treating the volunteer as an employee in every way except compensation, some states will consider the individual an employee not a volunteer.
 
 

The first question
the workers compensation insurer will ask when a work comp claim is presented for a volunteer is: Does the volunteer receive any form of compensation? Compensation does not mean a salary or hourly wages. Compensation in the case of a volunteer can be anything – a living allowance, a discount not available to others, vouchers, room and board, a stipend, certificates, credits, etc. If the volunteer receives any benefit in exchange for the volunteer service being provided, the volunteer will be treated as an employee. If the volunteer does not expect to receive anything of value for the services being provided, than the person is truly a volunteer for the purposes of workers compensation.
 
 

When a volunteer
is covered by the workers compensation statutes of the state, the medical benefits provided by workers compensation will be the same as the medical benefits of a regular employee. The question that often comes up is how are indemnity benefits handled for a volunteer that is unable to resume their volunteer duties for the employer?   Different states handle this in different ways. Some states will require the insurer to pay the volunteer the state minimal indemnity amount per week. In some states the employer and/or insurer will try to calculate the value of the volunteers services to establish a value for disability payments.   Other states provide the volunteer with no indemnity compensation, just medical benefits.
 
 

Some states,
for instance California, allow employers to “opt in” for workers compensation coverage of their volunteers, regardless of whether or not the volunteers receive any benefit from their volunteer work. This is beneficial to the employer as it eliminates the potential for an injured volunteer bringing a tort claim against the employer for an injury.
 
 

The workers compensation insurer
bases its premium calculation on the gross payroll for the employer. The volunteer, who is receiving no pay, is not included in the premium calculations, but increases the insurers exposure to claims. This can create issues with the insurer when they are paying the work comp claim of an injured volunteer.   If an employer knows it will have volunteer workers, the employer should make that fact known to the insurer to prevent a coverage dispute from erupting after a work comp claim is filed.
 

While adding volunteers with the work comp insurer will increase your work comp premium, it is better to have the workers compensation coverage than to be exposed to the volunteer bringing a liability lawsuit against your company. If the volunteer brings a tort action against your company, their potential monetary recovery is much higher than it is under work comp. In a tort claim, not only does the volunteer have the potential to recover their medical cost, they can recover for any pain and suffering they have endured as a result of the injury. (WCxKit)

 
 

If you have
volunteers working for your organization or business, you need to familiarize yourself on how your state treats volunteers when it comes to workers' compensation. Please consult with your state workers' compensation agent, broker, board or industrial commission on how volunteers are handled for the purpose of workers' compensation in your state.
 
 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. www.LowerWC.com
Contact: 
RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com .


 
WC IQ TEST:  http://www.workerscompkit.com/intro/

WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/
SUBSCRIBE: 
Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

©2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact
Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Florida Man Arrested in Workers Comp Scheme

A Jacksonville, Florida man was taken into custody recently for his alleged role in a workers comp scheme. According to a statement from the office of Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, 49-year-old David Rodriguez-Socarras cashed nearly $3 million in payroll checks through a "shell " company in order to avoid paying payroll taxes and workers comp premiums. (WCxKit)
The bureau of Worker's Compensation Compliance served a stop work order on his business, HMV Construction Incorporated, and discovered 57 certificates of insurance had been issued to companies statewide.
Atwater's office said shell companies are frequently created for money service businesses, such as check cashing stores, to cash payroll checks without paying the taxes and premiums. "Unlawful acts, such as these, hurt honest business owners, our state's economy and Floridians who bear the cost of these crimes," said Atwater. (WCxKit)
Socarras faces felony charges including application fraud, workers comp fraud, criminal use of personal identification information, fraudulent application for a Florida driver's license or ID card and possession of a fraudulent Florida driver's license or ID card. If found guilty, Socarras could be looking at 20 years in prison.


Author Robert Elliott
, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information.  Contact:  Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.

 

WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/
SUBSCRIBE: 
Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 © 2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.  
Reformating or rewriting  articles and using them as your own is a violation of copyright law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact
Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Georgia Workers Compensation Basics

In Georgia, every employer who has three or more employees, whether full time or part time is required to carry workers compensation insurance. There are some exceptions – work comp coverage is elective for planning commissions, partners, sole providers, licensed real estate agents and brokers, agricultural and domestic workers. All county and municipal governments and all school districts must carry workers compensation insurance.
 
Obtaining Coverage:
To obtain workers compensation coverage in Georgia, the employer has two options which are:
 
1.      purchasing a workers compensation insurance policy from a state approved insurance company
2.      qualifying as an approved self-insured employer and posting a surety bond or a letter of credit with the state
 
 
Claim Reporting:
The employee must report the injury to the employees supervisor within 30 days of the occurrence. The employer is required to file the Employers First Report of Injury form, WC-1 with the Georgia State Board of Workers Compensation. If the employer fails to file the WC-1, the employee can report the claim to the Board of Workers Compensation by filing state form, WC-14, Notice of Claim. (WCxKit)
 
 
Medical Benefits:
The employer must provide a list / panel of at least 6 doctors (at least one doctor must be an orthopedist) for the employee to select from. If the employer fails to post a panel of doctors for the employee to choose from, the employee is allowed to select his own doctor. The employee has the right to switch one time to another doctor on the panel. A unique aspect of Georgia law is the employee who is being paid indemnity benefits can demand a “claimants independent medical examination” by the a doctor of the employees choice (i.e., employee's attorneys choice) within 60 days of the start of indemnity benefits, paid for by the work comp insurance company.
 
 
All authorized medical care and associated expenses (prescriptions, prostheses, mileage reimbursements) are covered by workers compensation. All billing of medical services by medical providers must be in compliance with the Georgia Workers Compensation Medical Fee Schedule, which is updated on April 1st of each year. 
 
 
Temporary Total Disability Benefits:
The temporary total disability (TTD) benefits are calculated as two-thirds of the employees average weekly wage over the 13 weeks prior to the date of injury, not counting the week of the injury. The maximum amount of TTD benefits that can be paid weekly is changed by the Georgia Legislature from time to time. There is no automatic cost of living increase. The maximum TTD benefits per week for injuries are $500.00 per week. The state minimum weekly benefit is $50. 
 
 
The first 7 days of disability (the waiting period) is not paid to the injured employee unless the employee is disabled for more than 21 days. TTD benefits can be paid for a maximum of 400 weeks.
 
 
Temporary Partial Disability Benefits:
In Georgia, the employee will receive TTD benefits as long as the employee is off work from the injury (up to 400 weeks). If the employee is able to return to any type of work, but at a lesser rate of pay then the amount the employee was earning prior to the injury, the employee is entitled to temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits. The TPD benefits are paid at two-thirds of the difference between the pre-injury wage and the post-injury wage. The TPD benefits are paid for up to 350 weeks from the date of injury. The TPD benefits plus the post-injury pay rate can not exceed the state's maximum indemnity benefits rate.
 
 
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits:
Georgia employees are paid permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits for any permanent disability suffered as the result of an on-the-job injury. Once the employee has reached maximum medical improvement, the authorized treating doctor assigns a disability rating based on the American Medical Association Guidelines.   Georgia uses a schedule of injuries for limbs, vision and hearing. The loss of an arm or leg is worth 225 weeks of indemnity benefits (with a week calculated the same as TTD). The schedule decreases as the size of the limb decreases with a small toe being worth 20 weeks. A person with an injury to body as a whole is worth up to 300 weeks of indemnity benefits. For example, if the treating doctor gives the employee a 10% disability rating to the back, and the employees TTD rate was $500 per week, the employee will receive $15,000 ($500 X 300 X 10%).
 
 
Catastrophic Disability Benefits:
Georgia permits the employee to collect a maximum of 400 weeks of indemnity benefits for all types of indemnity combined, unless the employee is classified as having a catastrophic injury which is defined as:
 
1.      Spinal cord injury causing paralysis to an arm, leg or trunk
2.      Amputation of an arm, leg, hand or foot involving the effective loss of use of the body part
3.      Severe brain injury
4.      Second or third degree burns over 25% or more of the body, or third degrees burns to 5% or more of the face or hands
5.      Total or industrial blindness
6.      Any other injury that prevents the employee from being able to work (employees attorneys love this one)
 
If the employees injury is designated as a catastrophic injury, the employee can draw indemnity benefits for life.
 
 
Death Benefits:
The burial expenses in Georgia are covered for a work-related death up to $7,500. The death benefits for a dependent spouse and children follow the same guidelines as TTD benefits – two-thirds of the average weekly wage – currently a maximum of $500 per week, up to a maximum of 400 weeks, except there is a dollar maximum for death benefits in the amount of $150,000. If there is no spouse or dependent children (includes step children and adopted children), death benefits can be paid to dependent parents, college students and disabled adult children. (WCxKit)
 
 
Vocational Benefits:
Georgia workers compensation law also includes rehabilitation benefits / vocational benefits. If the injured employee is unable to return to their prior job due to disabilities from their on-the-job injury, Georgia requires the employer / insurance company to pay for the cost of retraining the injured employee to perform another job. In addition to job retraining, vocational benefits include:
 
9.      Vocational evaluation
10.Vocational counseling
11.Psychological testing and evaluation
12.Job analysis and job modification
13.Job placement
 
Vocational rehabilitation is in the best interest of the employer, the employee and the insurance company as placement in a new job reduces or eliminates the amount of TPD that will be paid, and stops the employee from making a claim for catastrophic indemnity benefits.
 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing.  See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact:  RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.

 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/
SUBSCRIBE: 
Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact
Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Ohio Employees Can Claim Violation of Safety Requirements – VSSR Awards

Normally, workers compensation is considered an exclusive remedy. The employee can not sue the employer and the employer can not deny a claim because of the negligence of the employee. In the monopolistic state of Ohio (meaning the state government is the provider of workers compensation, not private insurance companies) there is a unique law that allows the employee to make a claim directly against the employer for violation of specific safety requirements (VSSR).
 
 
Ohio state government, as the primarily insurer for workers compensation (Ohio does allow some large companies that have the financial resources to self insure) understands that safety rules and regulations prevent accidents. The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation and the Ohio Industrial Commission (two separate state agencies) promotes safe working conditions and provide hundreds of resources to Ohio employers on how to operate their business in a safe manner. It also awards employers with lower insurance premiums for having a good safety records. (WCxKit)
 
 
Ohio uses the carrot and stick approach to moving the donkey. If the carrot (lower insurance premiums) does not get the donkey (employer) to have a safe work place, there is the stick (VSSR Awards). Ohio employers are required to provide a safe workplace and to comply with the specific safety requirements set forth in the Ohio Administrative Code. The Ohio Administrative Code is too long to summarize adequately in this article, but it is somewhat similar to OSHA safety requirements. Much of the Ohio Administrative Code safety requirements are common sense – if you are high up on a scaffold you have protective railings, you don’t operate cranes under high voltage lines, you wear a hardhat at construction sites, you have machine guards to keep hands out of the hydraulic press, etc.
 
 
If an employee believes his/her injury was due to the employers failure to comply with a specific safety requirement set forth in the Ohio Administrative Code, the employee may apply for a VSSR Award – an additional award of compensation over and above what the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation will pay in indemnity benefits. If the employee contributes to their own injury by not following the safety guidelines for their job, or if the employee failed to use the safety equipment provided by the employer, the employee is not eligible for a VSSR Award.
 
 
In Ohio, the maximum weekly temporary total wage loss benefit for the year 2010 is $775.00 per week and the maximum in 2011 will be $783.00 per week, with minimums of $258.33 in 2010 and $261.00 in 2011. The VSSR award will be no less than 15% and no more than 50% of the maximum weekly compensation rate. It is paid weekly over the life of the claim. [For example, the VSSR award is 50% of the $775 weekly temporary total benefit or $387.50 per week. The employee is off work for 20 weeks, the VSSR Award is $7,750 ($387.50 X 20). The stick – the employer must pay the award to the employee, not the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation.
 
 
But wait, it gets worse. The Industrial Commission can impose an additional penalty against the employer of up to $50,000.00 if the employer has had two or more safety violations in the preceding 24 months.
 
 
Fortunately, the employee can not just make an accusation of a violation of a specific safety requirement and get a VSSR Award. The employee or the employees attorney must file state form IC-8/9 with the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation within two years of the injury. The Industrial Commission will send a notice to the employer after it has received the application for a VSSR award. The employer is required to file an answer within 30 days of notification.
 
 
The Bureau of Workers Compensation has a safety violations investigation unit (SVIU) which will assign the investigation to an impartial investigator. The SVIU sends a request to the employer listing common information requested. The employee is required to provide the SVIU with the names of people who can provide additional information about the alleged safety violation. The SVIU investigator will do an inspection of the accident site, interviews with fellow employees and supervisors, obtain affidavits and any additional information relevant to the investigation. The investigator then files a report with Industrial Commission.
 
 
The Industrial Commission forward copies of the SVIU report to all parties of interest. Everyone has 30 days for any additional information or documentation anyone wants to submit. After the 30 days, a hearing is held where the employer and the employee meet to discuss a possible settlement. If the employer and employee agree on what the VSSR Award will be, the VSSR Award is paid by the employer. If the employer and employee can not agree, the Industrial Commission schedules a hearing at which the Industrial Commission renders a decision based on the merits of the case of what the VSSR Award will be, if any award. (WCxKit)
 
 
If you are an Ohio employer, now is a good time to review your safety program to be sure you are in compliance with all safety requirements for you industry. (Even if you are not an Ohio employer, now is a good time to be sure you are maximizing your safety procedures). Any employer who needs assistance with their safety program should contact us.

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing.
Contact: 
RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/
SUBSCRIBE: 
Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

©2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact
Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Ohio Workers Compensation Basics 101

Workers Compensation Laws change frequently. This is only a summary; a complete copy of the most up-to-date version can be found at: www.WorkCompResearch.com an excellent service.

 
Ohio has a very unique workers compensation system. It is a monopolistic state meaning the Ohio state government provides the workers compensation insurance through a state insurance fund. There are no private workers compensation insurance companies. Ohio does allow employers to self-insure their workers compensation coverage, if the employer has the financial resources to do so and is approved by the state for self-insurance.
 
 
Workers Compensation is handled by two state agencies. The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) administers the insurance program. The BWC pays the medical bills and the indemnity payments. In the case of any dispute with the BWC, the dispute is referred to the Industrial Commission (IC). The IC is responsible for resolving all contested issues. (WCxKit)
 
 
 
In Ohio, every employer, including farm owners and operators, with one or more employees must have workers compensation insurance. It does not matter if the employee is full time or part time. It does not matter if the employee is a seasonal worker.   Even family members who work for the small employer must be covered by workers compensation insurance. The only exception is the single domestic employee who makes less than $160 every 3 months.
 
 
In Ohio, independent contractors must carry their own workers compensation insurance. If an employer in Ohio hires an independent contractor, the employer should obtain a copy of the independent contractors Certificate of Premium Payment and verify the dates of coverage.
 
 
Claim Reporting:
The employee must file a claim within two years of the occurrence or knowledge of the injury or the occupational disease. Ohio has its own First Report of Injury form that is used to file the claim. The employer must report the claim to the BWC within 7 days of notice of the claim. A unique twist is the claim can also be reported to the BWC by the medical provider.
 
 
Medical Benefits:
All medical expenses are covered by Ohio workers compensation. The medical bills are paid directly to the medical provider as long as the medical provider has been certified by the BWC or the self-insured employer.   The employee can select the medical provider of their choice, as long as the medical provider is a part of a managed care organization selected by the employer.
 
 
Temporary Total Disability (TTD) Benefits:
Another unique characteristic is the way TTD benefits are calculated. During the first 12 weeks of TTD, the employee is paid 72% of his/her gross wages. After 12 weeks, the percentage of TTD drops to two-thirds of the gross wage. The weekly maximum for 2010 is $775 and for 2011 the weekly maximum is $783. The weekly minimum TTD benefit is $258.33 in 2010 and $261.00 in 2011. TTD benefits are paid until:


1.  the employee has returned to work 

2.  the employee has reached maximum medical improvement

3.  employment is made available to the employee within the physical restrictions given by the MCO provider (think modified duty return to work)

4.  the employees physician gives a written statement that the employee can return to work performing the same duties as prior to the injury

 
 
Wage Loss (WL) Benefits:
In other states this is known as temporary partial disability. If the employee is returned to work in a light duty capacity and is unable to perform the same duties as before, or is returned to work with reduced hours, WL is paid to offset a reduction in earnings as a result of the injury.
 
 
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Benefits:
The BWC uses a schedule of injuries to determine the amount of PPD benefits that will be paid for specific body parts like fingers, legs, eyes, etc. For non-scheduled injuries, payments are limited to one-third of the average weekly wage for a maximum duration of 200 weeks. There is a 26 week waiting period from the last payment of TTD before PPD benefits can start.
 
 
Permanent Total Disability (PTD) Benefits:
If the medical provider determines the employee can never return to work, the employee will be classified as PTD. The PTD rate is the same as the TTD rate, and it is payable to the employee for the rest of the employee's life.
 
 
Living Maintenance (LM) Benefits:
Another unique aspect of Ohio workers compensation is the LM benefit. If the employee is unable to return to the prior position at the same employer, and is participating in an approved rehabilitation plan, the BWC will continue to pay the employee for up to six months while they complete their vocational rehabilitation.
 
 
Death Benefits:
In the event of a work related death, there is a burial allowance of $5,500 payable to the estate. If the employee has a surviving spouse or dependents, the spouse and dependents receive two-thirds of the average weekly wage up to the state maximum, with a maximum cap in 2010 of $775.00 per week and $783.00 per week in 2011. The minimum is one-half of the maximum, $387.50 per week in 2010 and $391.50 in 2011. The Hearing Officer determines how the weekly amount will be split between the spouse and other dependents. The spouse can receive the weekly benefit for life if the spouse does not remarry. If the spouse remarries, the spouse receives a lump sum equal two years of benefits, with the remaining dependents continuing to receive the weekly amount. 
 
 
Lump Sum Settlements:
If the BWC and the employee agree they can enter into a lump sum settlement for the value of the future medical benefits. When the employee accepts a lump sum settlement, the employee becomes responsible for all future medical care.
 
 
 Violation  of a Specific Safety Requirement (VSSR) Awards:
If an employee believes his/her injury was due to the employers failure to comply with a specific safety requirement set forth in the Ohio Administrative Code, the employee may apply for a VSSR Award – an additional award of compensation over and above what the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation will pay in indemnity benefits. If the employee contributes to their own injury by not following the safety guidelines for their job, or if the employee failed to use the safety equipment provided by the employer, the employee is not eligible for a VSSR Award. (WCxKit)
 
 
The VSSR award will be no less than 15% and no more than 50% of the maximum weekly compensation rate. It is paid weekly over the life of the claim. [For example, the VSSR award by the IC is 50% of the $775 weekly temporary total benefit or $387.50 per week. The employee is off work for 20 weeks, the VSSR Award is $7,750 ($387.50 X 20). If the investigation by the IC determines the employer failed to properly provide for the safety of the employee, the employer must pay the award to the employee, not the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation.
 
 

If you are an Ohio employer and have questions about your workers compensation system, Here is a link to the updated laws feed for more infromation http://reduceyourworkerscomp.com/laws_and_regulations.php

 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing.
Contact: 
RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.

 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/
SUBSCRIBE: 
Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

©2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact
Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

 

How to Buy Workers Compensation Insurance Online

Purchasing workers compensation insurance online is becoming more common. Employers who understand the basics of workers compensation are comfortable with online comparison sites like www.WorkersCompensation.com or www.FreeCompQuotes.com where they can enter their basic information and receive several quotes on their workers' compensation coverage.
 
Online quotes are often a fast and easy way for employers to determine the probable cost of their work comp coverage for their next policy year. To obtain a quote, the employer will need the basic information about their company including: (WCxKit)
1.      The name of the company
2.      The Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or Social Security Number (SS#)
3.      The type of entity – corporation, partnership, sole proprietor, etc.
4.      The business address – street, city, state and zip code
5.      The proposed start date for the work comp coverage
6.      The years in business
7.      The number of employees
8.      The annual payroll
9.      The number of prior work comp claims
10.   A detailed description of the business operation {See the Helpful Hint below}
11.   The employer's contact information – contact's name, telephone number, e-mail address and the best time to be contacted
 
 
When a request for a workers compensation quote is made online, the online website copies and duplicates the basic information noted above. The website forwards the information to the workers' compensation insurers that sell coverage in the state where the employer is domiciled. [Populous states may have hundreds of work comp insurers, but many insurers only write specific types of businesses]. Once a quote is submitted to one underwriter, even if you submit a duplicate request through another online provider, the underwriters will not quote more than once on that particular piece of business, thus it's not useful to submit dozens of requests to many different sites.
 
The insurers use the business description to identify the class of business. They use the payroll to calculate the amount of premium to be charged. After evaluating your business risk, they forward to you the proposed premium for the policy year.
 
When the insurance company submits the quote to you, they keep an electronic record of the quote in case you select them for the placement of your work comp coverage. The information is stored in their computer by the FEIN or SS#. Therefore, if you decide to go to a second website for online quotes, it usually does not do you any good. The second website submits the same information to the same workers' compensation insurers. Their computers note the duplication of the FEIN or SS#, and send the same proposed premium to the second website or they do not respond at all. [The work comp insurers are too savvy to bid against themselves].
 
To rate an employer for new coverage, the workers compensation insurers use either the state rating bureau's employers' classifications or the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) employers' classifications (in the 34 states using NCCI). Hence, all work comp insurers in a state are using the same rate tables, the same payroll and the same loss experience to create your quote for workers' comp coverage. This often results in the employer receiving the same quote from multiple insurers. 
 
There are a few variables that can change the results. {This is the Helpful Hint noted above}.   Some insurers will give a discount of 5% to 10% for certain types of employers. When you complete the detailed business operation description section of the online quote request, add in any of the following items that apply to your business:
1.      Membership in large trade associations or other group organizations
2.      A safety program that has been approved by the trade association or state government
3.      A drug-free workplace program
4.      A history of zero (or a very low number of work comp claims in the last 5 years)
 
 
Additional information you can enter into the detailed business operation description box that can reduce your premium entails taking the time to separate the payroll into several categories. This can reduce your premium as some jobs are considered to have lower risk of injury than others. Enter in the detailed job description window the separate annual payroll for these groups:
1.      Clerical
2.      Outside salespersons
3.      Collectors
4.      Messengers and their helpers
5.      Drivers and their helpers
6.      Chauffeurs and their helpers
7.      Drafting employees
8.      All other employees combined
 
 
Workers compensation insurers can be very choosy in the types of businesses they are willing to write coverage for. Businesses that have a higher than average risk of injuries can have a difficult time getting work comp coverage and often end up with only 1 or 2 insurance carriers providing quotes. If you are an accounting firm with all desk jobs, there will be numerous insurers willing to provide you with a quote for your business. If you are a dynamite manufacturer or asbestos miner, your online request for a quote might not get any replies. In industries where coverage is hard to find, the price quoted is the price it is going to be and it isn't going to change.
 
After you have obtained your online quotes, we will be glad to assist you in evaluating the insurers who have provided the quotes. In addition to the price quoted to you, we can assist in your decision by providing information on the insurer's reputation for claim service, customer service and value added services such as risk management assistance.
 
If your company has a poor safety record, and a disproportionate number of injures for your annual payroll, you may not receive any online quotes. However, you are still required to have workers' compensation insurance. The states address this in different ways. Some states will place your coverage in a state operated insurance fund. Other states will place your coverage in an assigned risk pool. If you are having trouble placing your work comp coverage, please feel free to contact us for assistance.  
 
If you are an employer in Ohio, North Dakota, Washington state or Wyoming, you have to purchase your work comp coverage from the state government. (WCxKit)
 
If you have not shopped around for workers  compensation insurance in the last few years, an online quote is an excellent way to check the price of your current coverage but you have to be responsive to the agent's requests for additional information. If you have recently received a large premium increase for up-coming policy year, now is a good time to obtain an online quote.
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/
SUBSCRIBE: 
Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 

©2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

ABCs of Pennsylvania Workers Compensation

In Pennsylvania, workers compensation insurance is compulsory. You must have workers compensation insurance, if you have one employee, with very few exceptions (coverage for one domestic servant is voluntary and there are some narrow agricultural exceptions).   Waivers are not permitted. Workers compensation insurance can be purchased from a private insurance carrier, the employer may self insure, and workers compensation coverage can be obtained through the state fund.
 
 
Claim Reporting:
The employee must report the injury to the employer within 120 days of the accident, illness or disease. If the employee reports the injury within 21 days of the accident, the indemnity benefits are payable from the date of the accident, if they apply. If the injury is report 22 days to 120 days after it occurred, the indemnity benefits are payable from the date the injury is reported. The employer must report the accident to the Bureau of Workers' Compensation within 21 days to avoid sanctions. (WCxKit)
 
 
Medical Benefits:
Medical expenses including doctor visits, surgical expenses, hospital expenses, prescriptions, mileage expenses, orthopedic devices and durable medical equipment are all covered by Pennsylvania workers compensation coverage. There are no time limits and no monetary limits. A medical fee schedule based on 113% of the 1994 Medicare rates (and adjusted each year since 1994 by the State) is utilized to control the cost of medical care.
 
 
The initial choice of a medical provider is controlled by the employer. The employer provides a panel of at least six designated health care providers of which no more than four can be in a coordinated care organization and no fewer than three must be physicians. To utilize the panel, the employer has to have the employee sign a Rights and Duty form at the time of hire acknowledging the employee must chose from the designated panel if an injury occurs. After 90 days the employee is free to choose his own medical provider, but must notify the employer within 5 days of the first visit to the new physician. If the employer does not have the Rights and Duty form or does not have a panel of designated health care providers, the employee can choose his own medical provider immediately.
 
 
The workers compensation insurance company is limited to requesting two independent medical examinations (IME) of an injured employee each year. If the injured employee does not attend the IME, the insurance company can petition for a suspension of benefits.
 
 
Temporary Total Disability (TTD) Benefits:
The employee's total income over the 52 weeks prior to the injury is used to calculate the average weekly wage. Total income includes overtime pay, vacation pay, bonuses and commissions in addition to the weekly wage. TTD is to two-thirds of the average weekly wage if the average weekly wage is over $633.76 (in 2010, adjusted annually by the State). The TTD benefit can not exceed $845.00 in 2010 (the maximum is adjusted annually by the State). If the average weekly wage in 2010 is between $469.44 and $633.75, the employee will receive a weekly TTD benefit of $422.50.   If the average weekly wage in 2010 is below $469.43, the employee receives 90% of the average weekly wage. (While the State government may have humanitarian intentions in paying the lower income workers 90% of their gross pay, it provides a huge disincentive to return to work when the employee is receiving as much, or more, from work comp then they received before the accident in their net take home pay.)   The state minimum weekly benefit is $50.00.
 
 
The first 7 days of disability (the waiting period) is not paid to the injured employee unless the employee is disabled for more than 14 days. TTD benefits can be paid for the employees lifetime, or to the employees return to work, or to the resolution of the claim through a Compromise & Release Agreement, or to the termination of the benefits by Bureau of Workers' Compensation Judge, or to the modification of benefits to temporary partial.
 
 
Return to Work:
To the credit of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, which oversees workers compensation, they have a model Return to Work program that they actively promote. Their recommended return to work program can be viewed at:  http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=602303&mode=2
 
 
The Return to Work program recommended by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry promotes the buy-in of the employee, the employer, the medical providers, the unions and the workers' compensation insurer by explaining how the Return to Work program benefits all parties.
 
 
Our website also has a tremendous amount of information that will benefit the Pennsylvania employer with the creation or management of a Return to Work program. For more information on Pennsylvania Return to Work, please go to: http://reduceyourworkerscomp.com
 
 
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) Benefits:
TPD is limited to two situations – 1) when the employee is returned to work at a lower rate of pay due to the injury, or 2) when the employee is working reduced hours due to the injury. The employee receives two-thirds of the difference between what he was earning before the injury and what he earns after the injury. TPD is limited to 500 weeks.
 
 
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Benefits:
PPD benefits are paid when the employee sustains a permanent loss of function, or scarring and disfigurement of the face and/or neck as the result of a work related injury. Specific loss benefits for body parts are payable based on a stated number of weeks listed in Section 306 of the workers' compensation statute.
 
 
Permanent Total Disability Benefits:
While TTD can go on for a life time in Pennsylvania, and TPD can go on for 500 weeks, there are no statutory permanent total disability benefits in Pennsylvania.
 
 
Death Benefits:
The simple part – there is a $3,000 burial benefit. The complex part – the weekly benefit is a percentage of the average weekly wage (AWW), not to exceed the statewide average weekly wage (as published annually by the State). Dependent children are eligible for weekly benefits until age 18 or age 23 if they are a full time student. If there are no dependent children, the surviving spouse receives 51% of the AWW. If there is one child, the surviving spouse receives 60% of the AWW. If there are two or more dependent children, the surviving spouse receives 66 & 2/3% of the AWW. If there is no surviving spouse, but dependent children, there is a graduated scale with 32% of the AWW for one child, and up to 66 & 2/3% for six or more children, with the benefits being paid to the guardian(s). If the surviving spouse remarries, the surviving spouse is no longer entitled to the death benefits, but the dependent children are. There are also guidelines for paying death benefits to parents and dependent siblings when there is no surviving spouse or dependent children.
 
 
Vocational Rehabilitation:
All that is required for a modification or suspension of benefits is the performance of a labor market survey by a vocational expert to prove the employee's earning capacity. (WCxKit)
 
 
Settlements:
Lump sum settlements are allowed. Compromise and Release Agreements are used to resolve future medical exposure, future indemnity exposure or both. If the parties agree, a structured settlement may be used to pay the claim.   All settlements are subject to the requirements of Medicare.

 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing.
Contact: 
RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604. www.LowerWC.com

 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/
SUBSCRIBE: 
Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

©2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact
Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

Hiring Youth: Minors and Workers Compensation

Thinking about hiring your teenager to sweep the floors and carry out the trash?   It is a great way to transfer taxable income to a family member who will be taxed at a much lower tax rate. Plus, the teenager can put the money away for college tuition…….or a car.
 
 
There was a recent case in Georgia where a minor working in a fast food restaurant was severely burned when he slipped, partially fell, and his hand went into the boiling grease of the french fry cooker.   This brought up the question:   Are their special workers compensation provisions for minors?   Yes, teenagers in the work place, under age 18, often have special protections when it comes to workers' compensation. (WCxKit)
 
 
Every state requires minors to be covered for workers compensation, just like every other employee. However, most states provide the minor with additional workers compensation protection over and above the standard workers compensation benefits paid to adults. Only the states of Delaware, Nevada, South Dakota and Vermont have workers' compensation statutes that are totally silent on the subject of employment of minors.
 
 
The additional protections provided to minors can be broken down into three categories.
 
They are:
 
1.      Future Earning Capacity
2.      Illegal Employment
3.      Special Benefit Provisions
 
 
Future earning capacity comes into consideration when the minor has a permanent partial disability or permanent total disability as the result of the work comp injury. The states vary in how they address how much consideration is given to future earning capacity. The burden of proof is normally on the employee to establish how much the permanent partial disability or permanent total disability will interfere with the employee's ability to earn wages in the future. It should be noted that a small loss of income per year due to a permanent partial disability can add to up a tremendous settlement amount over a 40 to 50 year work career.
 
 
The future earning capacity of the teenager is taken into consideration in 23 jurisdictions – Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.   In Iowa the future earning capacity is considered only if the minor is an apprentice or a trainee. In North Carolina the future earning capacity of the minor is based on the income of the position the minor would have likely been promoted to as an adult. In Texas, the loss of future earning capacity is considered only if the minor is limited because of apprenticeship, continuing education or education intended to enhance future wages.
 
 
The workers compensation statutes on minors take absolutely no pity on the employer who employs minors illegally. This would come into play for the 15 year old employee who does not have a work permit or the minor working in excess of the number of hours per week permitted by the state work comp statutes or the states labor statutes. Some states address the illegal employment of minors by increasing the amount paid to the minor. In Rhode Island the compensation paid to the minor is tripled.
 
 
Several other states double the workers compensation indemnity benefits that can be paid. Double compensation is paid in Alabama, Arkansas (if the minor did not misrepresent his age in writing), Connecticut (if under age 16). Florida (if ordered by a work comp judge), Indiana (if under age 16), Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire (if the employer has had previously employed minors illegally), New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin (double or triple compensation). In Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey and New York it is the employer, not the insurer who pays the extra compensation. These states do not allow the employer to insure for the extra compensation that is paid to the minor. In Wisconsin the additional compensation for illegal employment is not paid to the minor, but is paid to the state fund.
 
 
The states of Arizona, California, Connecticut (if age 16 or 17), Illinois, Missouri and Pennsylvania increase the extra compensation paid to a minor that is illegally employed by 50% (fifty percent). 
 
 
The illegal employment of a minor in Alaska, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico and Oklahoma gives the minor the option of taking the injury outside of the workers compensation system and suing the employer for damages.
 
 
Most of the states have special benefit provisions in their workers comp statutes to protect minors who have an on-the-job injury. A guardian may be required for the settlement of permanent partial disability or permanent total disability claims in Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
 
 
A few states also require all settlements with minors to be approved by their state work comp board, industrial commission or court system. This is true in Alaska, California, Idaho, New York and South Carolina. (WCxKit)
 
 
The extra protections provided to minors in most states are there to keep the minor from being exploited. Employers who legally employ minors have little to fear from a workers compensation standpoint, so go ahead and put that teenager to work.
 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. www.LowerWC.com  Contact:  RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.

 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/
SUBSCRIBE: 
Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

©2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact
Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Do Amish Have A Competitive Advantage When Not Required to Buy Workers Compensation Insurance Like Other Companies In Same Community

Usually workers compensation insurance centers around who is required to buy workers comp insurance and why. And — what happens to employers who fail to do so — they end up in jail, in law suits and pay huge fines. However, there are culturally religious groups who may be exempt from purchasing workers compensation insurance.

 

 

One of these groups is the Amish community. Largely an agrarian society, modern times force many Amish off their farms into the “real” world of industry and manufacturing. In Michigan, for example, many own woodworking companies providing services to others in the community at large (not only Amish).

 

 

As a community the Amish fought for and received an exemption from paying social security payroll taxes (for themselves and Amish employees) considering it to be an insurance plan for caring for the elderly, sick and infirmed. Their religious beliefs forbid them to participate in government welfare programs or the paying of insurance for benefits received. Instead they see caring for the older members of the community and other Amish in need, as a religious duty and, in fact, implement numerous methods to provide for needy members. (WCxKit)

 

 

The same thinking holds true for buying insurance for workers compensation. Even when an Amish business carries workers comp insurance, it is usually never used as doing so would compromise religious belief. Many states such as New York, Ohio, Kentucky and Pennsylvania provide a “religious exemption” to the Amish from purchasing workers compensation insurance.

 

So, what happens if a workplace injury occurs? The Amish pay into a church operated aid fund or, amazing thought – injured workers pay their own medical bills.

 

 

According to a recent article in the Philadelphia Inquirer this workers comp exemption is causing a huge uproar in the construction and contracting business since the economy tanked. Non-Amish employers are claiming an “unfair” business advantage, citing the Amish’s ability to provide much lower bids. They say hiring the Amish is comparable to a company outsourcing work to another country.

 

 

On the other hand, Amish contractors say they provide a superior product in a very timely manner and experience high customer satisfaction with their work which of course is probably beside the point. In addition, it’s well known the Amish do not pay for all the “perks” of modern life.

 

 

Could it be said the main point is: Employers are required to purchase government provided Workers Compensation Insurance to insure injured workers receive care when a workplace injury occurs? Since the Amish community does pay into a fund to take care of their injured workers does not paying the government-mandated WC insurance really give them an advantage? (WCxKit)

 

 

Every business has its own unique costs of doing business. Employers must constantly review their workers comp usage, workplace safety, injury rates and return to work policies in addition to other factors designed to reduce their overall cost of doing business of which workers comp can be a huge cost if not properly managed. See: http://www.LowerWC.com for essential cost cutting tools.


Author Rebecca Shafer
, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker and Website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. www.LowerWC.com
Contact:  RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/
SUBSCRIBE: 
Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.


©2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact 
Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

Florida Workers Compensation Basics 101

Workers Compensation Laws change frequently. This is only a summary; a complete copy of the most up-to-date version can be found at: www.WorkCompResearch.com an excellent service.

In Florida, every employer who has four or more employees, whether full time or part time is required to carry workers compensation insurance. [Corporate officers who have elected to exempt themselves from work comp coverage do not count as an employee]. There are a couple of exceptions to this rule. If you are in the construction industry and have one or more employees, you are required to have work comp coverage. Florida farmers who have more than five regular employees, or twelve or more seasonal workers who are employed for 30 days or more, are required to have work comp coverage.
 
Obtaining Coverage:
To obtain workers compensation coverage in Florida, the employer has several options including:
1.      purchasing a workers compensation insurance policy from a state approved insurance company
2.      qualifying as an approved self-insured employer
3.      contracting with a professional employer organization [employee leasing] that has a group workers compensation policy
4.      purchasing a workers compensation insurance policy from the Joint Underwriting Association, a Florida state agency that sales workers compensation insurance  coverage to employers who are unable to obtain coverage in the open market (WCxKit)
 
Claim Reporting:
The employee must report the injury to the employer within 30 days of the occurrence. If the injury is not reported timely, the insurance carrier has the option to deny the claim. The employer is under a strict time limit of 7 days to report the claim to the insurance carrier. The insurance company then has 3 days to send to the employee an informational brochure which outlines the employees rights and responsibilities under the workers compensation statutes.
 
Medical Benefits:
The employer selects and authorizes the initial medical provider. All subsequent medical treatment must be at a medical provider approved and authorized by the workers compensation insurance carrier. All authorized medical care and associated expenses (prescriptions, prostheses, mileage reimbursements) are covered by workers compensation.
 
Temporary Total Disability Benefits:
The temporary total disability (TTD) benefits are calculated as two-thirds of the employees average weekly wage over the 13 weeks prior to the injury, not counting the week the injury occurred. The maximum amount of TTD benefits that can be paid weekly changes every January 1st. The maximum TTD benefits per week for accidents occurring on or after January 1, 2010 is $772.00 per week. The state minimum weekly benefit is $20, which has not changed since 1972.
 
The first 7 days of disability (the waiting period) is not paid to the injured employee unless the employee is disabled for more than 21 days. TTD benefits can be paid for a maximum of 104 weeks. There is no provision in the Florida law that requires the employer to hold open a job for an employee who is unable to work due to the employee being unable to work. (Holding the position for the employee is the smart thing for the employer to do in most cases).
 
Temporary Partial Disability Benefits:
Florida work comp also provided for temporary partial disability (TPD). An employee will receive TPD if the medical provider releases the employee to work with restrictions on the number of hours the employee can work. If the employee is unable to earn 80% of his wages prior to the injury, the insurance carrier will pay TPD benefits on the hours the employee is unable to work per week.
 
Impairment Benefits:
When an employee reaches maximum medical improvement, the medical provider will determine whether or not the employee has any permanent partial disability. If the employee receives a disability rating, the employee is entitled to Impairment Benefits (IB).   The amount of IB is one-fourth of the TTD rate plus 1 cent. For example if the weekly TTD rate is $600.00, the IB rate would be $150.01. The number of weeks of IB is determined by a disability scale. A 10% rating on the scale is worth 20 weeks of IB; a 25% rating is worth 85 weeks of IB, while a 50% rating is worth 235 weeks of IB.
 
Permanent Total Disability Benefits:
Florida has a unique way of determining if an employee who has reached maximum medical improvement has a permanent total disability (PTD). If the employee can be placed in a sedentary job within 50 miles of his residence, the employee is not PTD, unless he has a severe injury as defined by the Florida work comp statutes. Some of the severe injuries include spinal cord injuries that involve paralysis of an arm, leg or the trunk; amputation of a hand, arm, foot or leg; severe brain injury; and, second or third degree burns over 25% of more of the body. If the employee is classified by the Division of Workers Compensation as PTD, the employee will receive PTD benefits which are the same as TTD benefits until the age of 75. If an employee is drawing social security benefits, the PTD benefits are reduced to the point where the social security benefit plus the PTD benefit equals 80% of the average weekly wage earned prior to the injury.
 
Death Benefits:
If an employee dies as a result of an on-the-job accident within one year of the date of the accident, or if the employee dies as a result of an on-the-job accident within five years with continuous disability, funeral expenses up to $7,500 is covered by workers compensation. The spouse is entitled to 50% of the average weekly wage, not to exceed $772.00 (for calendar year 2010). The spouse plus one child is entitled to two-thirds of the average weekly wage, not to exceed $772 (year 2010).   If the employee leaves behind one child as the only beneficiary of death benefits, the child receives one-third of the average weekly wage, not to exceed $772 (year 2010). There is no time limit on how long benefits can be paid, but the maximum amount of death benefits is $150,000 (not including funeral expenses). If the spouse remarries, the spouse receives a lump sum payment of 26 weeks (as long as the $150,000 cap is not exceeded. The spouse is also eligible for tuition benefits at a vocational technical center or community college. (WCxKit)
 
 Vocational Benefits:
If due to the employees on-the-job injury the employee is unable to return to work because of permanent work restrictions, the employee is entitled to assistance from the Workers Compensation Vocational Rehabilitation Section of the Florida Department of Education. At no cost to the employee, the employee can receive vocational counseling, transferable skill analysis, training on job-seeking skills, job placement, on-the-job training and formal retraining. 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing.
Contact: 
RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.

 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/
SUBSCRIBE: 
Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

©2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact
Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

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