What is the purpose of the division?
The Department of Financial Services' Division of Workers' Compensation
regulates employers and insurers to ensure prompt, accurate benefit payments and appropriate, timely services to workers injured on the job to facilitate their gainful reemployment at a reasonable cost to employers.
Who is eligible for workers' compensation coverage?
Florida law requires most employers to provide workers' compensation coverage for their employees. Specific employer coverage requirement are based on the type of industry, number of employees, and the organization of the entity.
The division's website clarifies different coverage requirements by industry.
What assistance is provided to employees and employers?
The division's Bureau of Employee Assistance and Ombudsman Office (EAO) disseminates information and carries out several other duties to assist all system participants. The bureau
The division has field offices throughout the state, and operates a claims hotline (1-800-342-1741) and an exemption and compliance hotline (850-413-1609). Interested parties can also search compliance records, and employers can file for exemption on the division's website. Additional assistance is available to employers through the division's Bureau of Compliance.
- investigates disputes and facilitates resolution without undue expense, costly litigation, or delay in the provision of benefits;
- assists system participants in fulfilling their statutory responsibilities;
- educates and disseminates information to all system participants;
- initiates contacts with injured workers to discuss their rights and responsibilities and advise them of services available through EAO;
- reviews claims in which injured workers' benefits have been denied, stopped, or suspended;
- provides reemployment services to eligible injured employees who are unable to return to work as a result of their work place injuries or illnesses;
- provides for the collection, distribution, and archival of the division's imaged records;
- provides public record information; and
- responds to requests for division data.
How can workers' compensation disputes be resolved?
The Bureau of Employee Assistance and Ombudsman Office (EAO) helps prevent and resolve disputes between injured workers, employers, and carriers. If the insurance carrier does not provide benefits
or denies a claim, the employee can contact the EAO. Employees can also file a Petition for Benefits with the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims.
How effective is the division in performing its functions?
During Fiscal Year 2020-21, the Bureau of Compliance processed 99.94% of online exemption applications within 10 days of receipt, investigated 935 public referrals alleging non-compliance, and collected exemption fees totaling $5,085,873. The Bureau of Compliance's efforts resulted in 1,550 new employees being covered and the generation of $1,290,466 in insurance premiums.
During the same year, the division's Injured Worker Helpline handled 36,008 calls, with 506 disputes, and 98% of these disputes were resolved.
In Fiscal Year 2020-21, overall workers' compensation claims costs increased $14 million, totaling $120.5 million. Workers' compensation medical costs increased $6.5 million, while indemnity costs increased $7.5 million. These increases in claims costs were a direct result of COVID-19 claims. In Fiscal Year 2020-21, the division paid $10.6 million in medical costs and $8.8 million in indemnity costs, totaling $19.4 million for COVID-19 claims.
How are these activities funded?
Fiscal Year: 2022-23
PROGRAM: WORKERS' COMPENSATION
The 2022 Legislature enacted Ch. 2022-138, Laws of Florida, which includes the following changes that may impact the work of the division.
- Exemptions. The law requires an employer applying for an exemption from workers’ compensation coverage to complete an online tutorial as a condition for application.
- Coverage Penalties. The law extends the deadline for an employer to produce requested business records from 10 business days to 21 days; provides a penalty credit for an employer who has been issued a stop-work order or an enforcement action, if the employer successfully completes an online tutorial; and revises the formula for calculating coverage penalties to reduce the period subject to a penalty, with exceptions.
- Notice of Rights to the Employee. The law allows a carrier to send an informational brochure to an injured worker by mail or email, and changes the mailing deadline from three days to three business days.
- Payroll Audits. The law revises audit requirements for construction businesses by only requiring onsite audits if the estimated annual premium is $10,000 or more.
Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?
Review of Professional Employer Organizations and Workers' Compensation, Report 21-04, March 2021
Where can I get more information?
Worker's Compensation Fraud Joint Report, Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Investigative and Forensic Services, Bureau of Workers' Compensation Fraud and Division of Workers' Compensation, January 2022.
Three-Member Panel Biennial Report, Three-Member Panel, February 2019.
2021 Results and Accomplishments Report, Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Workers' Compensation.
A complete list of the division's reports is available on its website.
Websites of Interest
Division of Workers' Compensation, Reimbursement Manuals
U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs
Florida Self-Insurers Guaranty Association, Inc.
National Council on Compensation Insurance
Florida Workers' Compensation Joint Underwriting Association
Workers Compensation Research Institute
Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan
What are the applicable statutes?
and Ch. 440
, Florida Statutes
Whom do I contact for help?
Division of Workers' Compensation, 1-800-742-2214 (exemption and compliance) or 1-800-342-1741 (claims).