Income Benefits in a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Understanding the Benefits Available to Injured Workers
Income benefits, also referred to as indemnity benefits, can be distributed in a number of ways: TTD, TPD, PPD, and PTD. These are each essentially different combinations of temporary and permanent or total and partial disability.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD) is paid when an injured worker is temporarily off work while recovering from a workplace injury. TTD benefits are generally 2/3 of the employee’s average weekly wage (AWW), but most states have minimum and maximum amounts. Laws vary from state to state regarding whether an employee is entitled to TTD, when it begins, and when it ends.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) is generally paid when an injured employee is able to perform some job duties during the recovery period, but is unable to earn full wages. The benefit amount is often 2/3 the difference between the full pre-injury wages and the lesser post-injury wages. TPD is not available in all states.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) benefits are paid based on the amount of impairment a person sustained from the workplace injury after reaching maximum medical improvement (MMI). If a person does not return to 100% health, he or she will have a percentage of permanent impairment. Doctors usually assign impairment ratings using the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, but every state may vary regarding which edition must be used. State legislatures dictated different methods for calculating PPD benefits, and also tend to vary. Factors may include the employee’s average weekly wage, the impairment rating, whether the employee has returned to the same or similar job, whether the employee is earning more or less in wages, the employee’s age, the employee’s education, and other factors
Permanent Total Disability benefits are paid to employees whose work injuries resulted in an inability to earn an income. Qualifications and methods for calculating PTD benefits vary greatly from state to state.
Death benefits are specified by state legislatures. Generally, these benefits are designed to cover funeral and burial costs, but surviving dependents are usually entitled to ongoing income benefits as well.
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