Workers’ Compensation And The Heart And Lung Bill

July 11, 2018
Heart & Lung Bill — State of Florida — Our Pharmacy Network (OPN)

The Florida Heart and Lung Bill, also referred to as Florida Statute 112.18 provides law enforcement agents, correctional officers, and firefighters workers’ compensation benefits for health complications related to lung and heart issues. However, to be eligible for these benefits, they must have passed a physical examination before being hired and cleared of any such health complications. While this law may sound pretty straightforward at first, its application can be more confusing. In this article, we’ll discuss all the information needed to know about Florida’s heart and lung bill.

When Are Benefits Eligible?

In order to qualify for the benefits provided by the bill, these conditions must be satisfied:

  • You have to be a correctional officer, firefighter, or police officer as defined in the Florida Statutes, Chapter 112.
  • You must have passed a pre-employment physical test in terms of heart and lung complications. You are eligible for benefits because it is assumed that you
    developed the complications because of the work you performed.
  • You must be suffering from a protection condition, such as hypertension, heart disease, or tuberculosis.
  • You have to be partially or totally disabled.

What Costs Does The Florida Heart and Lung Statute Cover?

If eligible for coverage, the statute requires the employer to pay for 100 percent of medical treatments, medications, specified percentages of lost income related to the treatment of the medical condition because of the disability or any permanent impairment sustained. The amount of weekly benefits that the injured person receives is capped at 100 percent of pre-disability wages. The cost of living adjustments that occur after one becomes totally or permanently disabled are not usually part of this capping. When are state employees ineligible for the benefits?

If you have filed a workers’ comp claim under Statute 112.18 or Chapter 440, on or before July 1, 2010, it is presumed that the condition didn’t occur in the line
of duty if:

  • You received compensation and departed from the prescribed treatment of a physician for the pre-existing workers’ comp claim that great exacerbating the
    condition and level of impairment.
  • You departed from the prescribed treatment and this departure caused the aggravation of the condition leading to disability or increased disability.

Can You Qualify For Benefits Under The Heart and Lung Statute If Your Hypertension Or High Blood Pressure Occurs After Retirement?

If you were covered by the Workers’ comp account while still employed, your benefits will continue even after retirement. Additionally, a state employee in the protected class may still be covered by the presumptions of the statute if he or she experienced heart problems and become disabled before retiring.

However, they must have notified their supervisor of the medical problem before retiring and the supervisor failed to inform them that they were entitled to the benefits under the Heart and Lung statute.

Since its inception, the costs of this bill have exceeded the initial expectations of policymakers. Police officers and firefighters across the state are struggling to get the compensation they deserve. Thus, it’s in your best interest to hire the services of an experienced workers’ comp attorney with a deep understanding of the heart and lung bill. Contact Our Pharmacy Network Today to see if you qualify for benefits at 1-844-238-9313.

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