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Understanding Temporary Disability Benefits in Workers' Compensation

When hardworking individuals face unexpected setbacks, temporary disability benefits can be a lifeline. Regarding workers' compensation, these benefits are especially crucial when an employee sustains an injury that prevents them from fulfilling their regular duties.

What are Temporary Disability Benefits?

Temporary disability benefits come into play when an employee suffers a work-related injury that renders them temporarily unable to perform their job. Temporary disability benefits provide financial assistance while the injured worker recovers and takes the necessary steps toward rehabilitation. The goal is to help ease the financial strain during a difficult period, so the worker can focus on healing and returning to the workplace.

It is important to note that there are two main types of temporary disability benefits: temporary total disability (TTD) and temporary partial disability (TPD). TTD applies when an individual has been rendered completely unable to work, at least for the time being, due to their injury. In this case, the worker will typically receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage, up to a set maximum amount. TPD, on the other hand, covers situations where the injured employee can still work, but only in a limited capacity. In these cases, the individual is entitled to two-thirds of the difference between their pre-injury earnings and post-injury earnings.

Who Is Eligible?

To be eligible for temporary disability benefits, the injured worker must meet specific qualifications. For instance, they must have a medical professional's statement verifying that their injury prevents them from working or necessitates modified duties. Additionally, the injury must be reported to the employer, ideally as soon as possible after sustaining it. Documentation, such as medical records and proof of lost wages, may also be required to support the claim.

How Long Can I Receive These Benefits?

The duration of temporary disability benefits is another important consideration. Each state has its own rules and regulations governing how long an individual can receive these benefits. As a general rule of thumb, temporary disability benefits will continue as long as the injured worker is medically certified as unable to work or limited in their capacity to do so. However, there may be maximum time limits, after which the worker must explore other options, such as permanent disability benefits or vocational rehabilitation.

What Should I Know About Temporary Disability Benefits?

Temporary disability benefits are not the sum total of a workers' compensation claim. Depending on the nature of the injury and the circumstances surrounding it, the injured employee may be eligible for additional benefits or compensation. These can include:

  • medical coverage for treatment and any necessary rehabilitation
  • permanent disability benefits if the injury results in lasting limitations
  • job retraining or vocational assistance in cases where the employee cannot return to their previous occupation

Temporary disability benefits play a crucial role in the workers' compensation system by providing financial support to injured employees during their recovery. Understanding the differences between types of benefits, the eligibility criteria, and the duration of these benefits is essential for anyone navigating this complex area of the law.

Let Us Help

If you or someone you know has sustained a work-related injury and requires assistance or guidance, reach out to our skilled attorneys here at Funderburg, Sessums & Peterson, PLLC, to ensure that your rights are upheld and you receive the support you deserve on your road to recovery.

Contact us today at (601) 514-6544 or visit us online to get started with your free consultation.