Older Workers and Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Florida’s year-round pleasant weather and beautiful landscape attract people of all ages. However, the Sunshine State is undoubtedly home to one of the largest older populations in America. Almost a fifth of Florida residents are 65 years old or older which is the highest percentage in the country. And while aging, many older people strive to continue enjoying life to the fullest. One method of pursuing this is by working which offers both financial support and a way to stay active and social. Unfortunately, a workplace injury can occur during this simple pursuit of employment. And when it does, injured older workers are often shocked to discover that an employer may be much less committed to helping the worker obtain needed workers’ compensation benefits than the worker was about coming to work every day.
Why is Understanding the Risks of Workplace Injuries For Older Workers Important?
Understanding the risks of workplace injuries for older workers is especially important because the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has indicated that the number of older workers is actually increasing. It estimates that almost a quarter of the American workforce will be made up of older workers by the year 2024. In contrast, data examined by BLS from 2010 indicated that just nineteen percent of workers were 55 and older that year. This represents an estimated increase of almost six percent in the number of increased workers in a span of less than fifteen years. And with an increase in workers, there is also more opportunity for an increase in the number of workplace injuries.
Why Can Obtaining Workers’ Compensation Benefits Be More Challenging For Older Workers?
- Older workers average more days away from work to recover from injuries than their younger counterparts
- This demographic is more likely to have a pre-existing ailment or diagnosis that can cause an award to be reduced or denied altogether
- When injuries occur they are often serious and older workers are most likely to have more fatal falls and more injuries to the trunk, back, shoulder and knee
- Employers and carriers may be especially hesitant to award benefits to older workers who have fewer working years left
Experienced workers’ compensation attorneys understand the fact that a workplace injury can have serious consequences for older workers. Despite the challenges involved, any worker who is injured at a workplace during the scope of employment should be afforded workers’ compensation benefits – and that includes injured older workers.
Have You or the Older Worker You Love Been Injured in a Workplace Accident?
The process for obtaining workers’ compensation benefits can be especially overwhelming and challenging for an older worker who has been injured at work. Therefore, if you or a loved one is struggling to understand what you should do after a workplace accident, allow us to help make things clear. The Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at Payer & Associates have significant experience helping people like you and you should allow us to help you get the benefits you deserve. Begin by contacting us today to schedule a free consultation.