February 2010

Here is an interesting decision regarding the relatively overlooked payment of impairment income benefits (IIB’s).  In Seminole County v. Baumgardner, Claimant missed work during the period he was entitled to IIB’s.  He failed to earn under 100% of his pre-injury average weekly wage, so under section 440.15(3)(c) the E/C only paid him 50% of his AWW in IIB’s. 

It was the E/C’s position that the reduction of his wages during that period was not related to the accident.  Claimant objected on the grounds that it didn’t matter if reduced wages are related  to the accident or not.  In his view, the statute makes no difference between lost wages based on compensable injuries and lost wages based on anything but compensable injuries.

And, in the end, the First DCA agreed. (more…)

The First DCA brings us a pair of opinions that further support the notion that the Court sees little to no difference between illegal aliens and naturalized citizens.  While in Fact Track Framing v. Caraballo, they opened a door to the possibility of shutting down illegal aliens claims by holding that a Claimant who does not report his income to the Internal Revenue Service has an AWW of $0.00, the Court now clarifies its position and offer illegal aliens a solution.