Work injuries can result in temporary impairment, which may keep you off the job for a period of time or require you to work in a different position until you recover. Other injuries may have lasting effects, making it impossible to perform duties you were accustomed to prior to your injury or even keeping you off the job entirely. Workers’ compensation benefits can be temporary or permanent depending on the extent and impact of the injury.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD) is payable if your injury keeps you out of work for a temporary period. It is payable When you are off work more than three calendar days due to an injury with benefits commencing on the fourth day of missed work and continuing until you return to work or are medically recovered enough to return to similar work. If you are off work for more than 14 calendar days, you may be entitled to payment for the three-day waiting period also.
If you cannot return to your regular job, but are able to perform other duties payable at a lower rate, you may be entitled to Temporary Partial Disability (TPD). The benefit amount is a percentage of the difference between your average gross weekly earnings when injured and your actual earnings while temporarily working at the lesser paying job.
When your work injury results in a permanent functional impairment to your body or results in an inability to earn wages similar to those earned prior to the injury, you may be entitled to permanent partial disability (PPD). If your injury is to a scheduled member (i.e. arm, leg, finger, etc.) your PPD benefits are based on functional impairment. The benefits are payable for a number of weeks depending on whether the impairment is a full loss or less than full. When your work injury results in permanent disability to a part of the body not included as a scheduled member, the disability is considered industrial and is determined by assessing the difference between what you were able to earn prior to the injury and what you are able to earn after the injury.
Sometimes injuries are such that you may not be able to return to work at any time in the foreseeable future. When you cannot work due to a work injury, Permanent Total Disability (PTD) may be payable. Typically permanent disability results when your condition is not expected to improve further with more treatment – in other words you have reached your “maximal medical improvement” (MMI). When the doctor acknowledges that you have reached MMI, you will stop receiving temporary disability benefits, and your workers’ comp carrier will assess whether you have any lasting impairments or limitations qualifying you for permanent disability payments.
If you have been hurt while performing your job, you expect your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier to do their part by providing the medical benefits and disability payments you are entitled to. Unfortunately, sometimes it is an uphill battle to secure your workers compensation benefits because your company or your company’s insurer want to avoid the expense or they may not recognize their responsibilities under the law. Contact the Law Offices of Stoltze & Updegraff PLC for help to secure the lost wages, medical benefits or workers’ comp disability payments you deserve.