Workers’ compensation — Temporary partial disability — Limitations — Mental injuries — Constitutionality of statute — Claimant seeking TPD benefits for depression relating to physical work place injury which reached maximum medical improvement eighteen months prior — Section 440.093(3), which cuts off TPD benefits for mental injuries six months after claimant reaches physical MMI, does not unconstitutionally deny claimant access to courts, due process, and equal protection by forbidding claimant from receiving TPD benefits even though mental injury has not reached MMI — Although statute draws narrower parameters for receiving temporary benefits for mental injuries than for physical injuries, it does not force claimants to wait indefinitely to receive permanent disability benefits or expose claimants to economic ruination while awaiting qualification for permanent benefits — Claimant failed to demonstrate that section 440.093(3) departs from past workers’ compensation limitations or that it renders workers’ compensation law an unreasonable alternative to tort litigation where statute’s six-month limitation applies only to psychiatric injuries, and isolated psychiatric claims have not traditionally been recoverable under Florida’s workers’ compensation and tort law — While claimant’s mental injury is not strictly a stand-alone injury as it relates back to prior workplace accident, statute’s application to claimant’s circumstances is consistent with how such injuries have historically been treated since constitution conferred right of access to courts — State has legitimate interest in establishing time limits for benefits associated with mental injuries — No error in finding that claimant had no psychiatric work restrictions where both psychologists who evaluated claimant opined that he could work without restrictions based on his psychiatric condition
44 Fla. L. Weekly D879b
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