Income Benefits In Workers’ Compensation
Income benefits (sometimes referred to as indemnity benefits) come in several flavors: TTD, TPD, PPD, and PTD. These are basically different combinations of temporary/permanent and total/partial disability.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD) is the benefit that is paid when an injured worker is temporarily off work recovering from the injury. TTD benefits are generally 2/3 of the employee’s average weekly wage (AWW), but most states have minimum and/or maximum amounts. Laws vary state to state on whether an employee is entitled to TTD, when it starts, and when it ends.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) is generally paid when an injured employee is able to work some during recovery 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 has from the injury after reaching maximum medical improvement. If a person does not return to 100% health, he or she may have a certain percentage of permanent impairment. Doctors usually assign impairment ratings using the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, but states vary on whether doctors must use this resource and even which edition must be used. State legislatures have dictated different methods for calculating PPD benefits, and they vary greatly. 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 have resulting in an inability to earn an income. Qualifications and methods for calculating PTD benefits vary greatly from state to state.
Death benefits are also specified by state legislatures and vary greatly. Generally, the benefit is designed to cover funeral and burial costs, but surviving dependents are usually entitled to ongoing income benefits as well.