Workers’ compensation was created to provide injured workers with the financial assistance they need in the event of an injury that prevents the employee from working. While each state has a workers’ compensation system, the rules, procedures, as well as requirements of each system differs between states. If you have been injured at work,, contact a workers’ compensation lawyer to discuss your legal options.

The workers’ compensation system provides several types of benefits to injured workers, including temporary total disability benefits.

UNDERSTANDING TEMPORARY TOTAL DISABILITY BENEFITS

If an injured worker is unable to perform their job duties while they recover, they may be entitled to temporary disability benefits. Temporary partial disability benefits are awarded to workers who cannot perform their pre-injury job duties, but can perform some other types of work. On the other hand, temporary total disability benefits are awarded to workers who cannot perform any type of work. 

The employee’s treating physician will conduct an exam to determine whether or not they can perform any type of work. The physician has to decide how the worker’s injuries limit their physical and mental abilities. They have to decide if the person is well enough to do the job, or if they should take time off of work while they recover. If they determine that the worker is unable to work as a result of their injuries, they can then sign the paperwork and make it official.

WHEN DO TEMPORARY TOTAL DISABILITY BENEFITS END?

Temporary total disability benefits will end once the physician decides that the worker’s injuries have healed and they can return to work.  

As treatment progresses, however, the medical professional may determine that the extent and nature of the employee’s injuries are permanent and that the worker will never be able to return to their pre-injury position. The doctor, at this point in time, will state that the worker’s status is MMI (maximum medical improvement). This means that the doctor does not expect the worker’s condition to improve any further in the future. 

Due to this status, temporary disability benefits will end. The employee may then qualify for permanent total disability benefits. Your doctor will need to complete a permanent & stationary (P&S) report that describes your medical condition, work restrictions, and future medical care. This report is sent to the claims adjuster, who will review it to determine whether or not you are entitled to permanent disability benefits. 

Temporary total disability benefits typically only last for two years. This means in most cases, you cannot receive these benefits for more than two years. There are some exceptions to this rule. These exceptions include injured workers with severe injuries such as HIV, eye injuries, burns, hepatitis, amputations, burns, and some kinds of lung disease.

HOW TO CALCULATE TEMPORARY TOTAL DISABILITY BENEFITS

Typically, payments for temporary total disability amounts to approximately two-thirds of that worker’s average weekly earnings. Weekly maximums have been imposed in California. These weekly maximums place a cap on the amount of benefits a worker can recover regardless of his or her pre-injury salary. The weekly maximum increases every year, but for 2020, it will be $1,299.43 per week. 

Consider the amount you normally make and then doing the math for the allotted percentage based on that can help you determine an amount that is more than likely right for your specific situation.

HOW TO OBTAIN TEMPORARY TOTAL DISABILITY BENEFITS

If you are unable to work as a result of your injuries, you are entitled to temporary total disability benefits.  However, not everyone who requests temporary total disability is able to get it. Insurance companies often deny legitimate workers’ compensation claims. If this happens to you, it’s important to speak to an attorney who has experience helping clients fight for workers’ compensation benefits. 

If you need help obtaining workers’ compensation benefits, contact the attorneys at Wyman & Hegwer  as soon as possible. Our team can make sure that you get compensation, especially when you need it to take care of your family. Call Wyman & Hegwer today to speak with a professional who can help.