Q. We had to lay off an injured worker for economic reasons. He has not attempted to work for a year since that layoff. Will he be entitled to temporary benefits under the Florida Workers’ Compensation Act?
A. The Florida courts have held that a claimant must show a causal relationship between an industrial injury and a resulting loss of earnings to be entitled to temporary benefits.
If your former employee hasn’t attempted to get a job for a year and hasn’t otherwise been able to prove that continued unemployment was due to his injury, he shouldn’t be entitled to temporary benefits.
That doesn’t mean that every time a claimant is discharged or laid off for economic reasons, he or she will never again be entitled to temporary benefits. But claimants must be able to establish that their inability to earn similar wages resulted from some factor other than economic reasons.