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Workers' Compensation

Florida: Worker Receives PTD Award More than 17 Years After Retirement

Where a Florida worker sustained work-related injuries to her neck, back, and right shoulder in 2002, and subsequently suffered a psychiatric injury, in the form of depression, as a result of the injury and, prior to reaching MMI status, successfully petitioned for disability retirement via the Florida Retirement System in June 2003 when she was 49 years old, it was error for a judge of compensation claims to deny additional benefits under Westphal v. City of St. Petersburg, 194 So. 3d 311 (Fla. 2016), on the basis that claimant would have reached "statutory MMI based upon 260 weeks of [TTD] benefits being exhausted" as of December 30, 2004, held a state appellate court. The appellate court disagreed with the rationale employed by the JCC, indicating it was error to focus on claimant's retirement date, as well as her age and disability status at that time, because the relevant date for determining whether a claimant qualified for PTD was the date of either overall MMI or at the expiration of her entitlement to temporary benefits, whichever occurred first. By using her retirement date as the central component to determine whether the Claimant was entitled to PTD, the JCC committed legal error.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Pannell v. Escambia County Sch. Dist., 2020 Fla. App. LEXIS 5114 (1st DCA April 15, 2020)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 80.03.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see

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