Under Florida workers’ compensation statutes, mediation is required before any dispute about workers’ compensation benefits can be presented to the judge of compensation claims to decide at a hearing.
When a workers’ compensation claimant believes they are entitled to a workers’ compensation benefit that the employer and its workers’ compensation insurance carrier have not provided, the claimant files a Petition for Benefits. The petition is sent to the judge of compensation claims to hold a final hearing after which the judge rules on whether the claimant is entitled to the benefits claimed. Before the judge schedules the final hearing, Florida law requires the parties to attend a mediation and discuss the benefits in the Petition for Benefits.
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