Just a quick reminder for employees who are receiving workers’ compensation insurance benefits for a Florida job-related injury: Be sure to seek care or treatment at least once annually to keep your workers’ compensation claim alive and your right to continuing care intact. Otherwise, your claim could close and your right to care terminated. Keep close track of your treatment dates. Your insurance carrier is not likely to warn you before that deadline passes.
Florida has a much tougher rule on this than most states. Unlike virtually every other state, including Georgia, you can lose your right to continued medical care under your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy if you don’t seek medical care at least once a year. Here’s a helpful blurb as it appears (in the form of a question-and-answer) right from the current website of the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Workers’ Compensation’s website:
Is there a period of time after which my claim is no longer open? If you were injured on or after January 1, 1994 , the claim is closed one (1) year from the date of your last medical treatment or payment of compensation. This period of time is referred to as the Statute of Limitations. If you were injured before January 1, 1994 , the period is two (2) years.
This information is drawn from section 440.19(2), Florida Statutes, the actual law that imposes the one-year limit, which applies to most current claims:
440.19 Time bars to filing petitions for benefits. *** (2) Payment of any indemnity benefit or the furnishing of remedial treatment, care, or attendance pursuant to either a notice of injury or a petition for benefits shall toll the limitations period set forth above for 1 year from the date of such payment. This tolling period does not apply to the issues of compensability, date of maximum medical improvement, or permanent impairment.
So don’t let grass grow under your feet. Be sure to seek care or treatment at least once annually to keep your workers’ compensation claim alive and your right to continuing care intact. Talk to an employment lawyer if you have questions.