What Are the Different Types of Workers’ Compensation Claims for Disability?
If you’ve been injured on the job or have developed an illness due to your work, you may already know that receiving financial assistance under workers’ compensation laws can be a fairly complex legal process. Don’t worry – we’re here to help you understand what benefits you’re entitled to.
Here’s an overview of what these common disability categories cover:
- Temporary partial disability (TPD):If your injury has forced you to work reduced hours, then you’re “partially” disabled for a “temporary” time period and the workers’ compensation carrier will pay for the time you’re missing. For example, if you worked eight hours a day before an injury but you can now only work five hours a day, the workers’ compensation insurance will pay you for the remaining three hours. This is called TPD.
- Temporary total disability (TTD):TTD is similar to TPD, but instead of being partially restricted in your work hours, you are “totally” disabled until you recover. Here, the carrier pays for your full work day. A common example is when an injured worker is placed on bedrest under a doctor’s orders. This is the most common type of workers’ comp claim that American workers seek and are awarded, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Permanent partial disability (PPD):Once a doctor releases an injured worker from care to go back to work, a few individuals will leave treatment with some form of permanent disability. Some common examples are range of motion loss, reduced strength, or loss of some bodily function. At that point, the injured worker will be evaluated for the percentage of loss they suffered, which will then be put into a formula to determine the owed compensation.
- Permanent total disability (PTD):A very small portion of individuals will never be able to perform any kind of work again after their injury. At that point, they could qualify for the status of PTD, which means they will be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for life.
In all of the above situations, the carrier is only required to pay your wages at your Average Weeky Wage (“AWW”) rate, which is basically two thirds of your regular wages before taxes are applied. There are exceptions and each case requires specific evaluation.
You will still be required to file a claim for compensation and prove that your injury or illness was a) sustained at work and b) serious enough to require medical attention. Of the 2.8 million occupational injuries that American workers reported in the span of one year, only about 900,000 cases required time off of work — but that’s still a substantial amount of missed wages, especially when you consider that private employers in 2015 were paying an average of $31.53 in compensation costs per employee hour worked, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Each type of disability-related workers’ compensation category covers 100% of necessary medical costs related to your injury/illness, but the added ability to receive cash benefits for lost wages while you are disabled is just as important.
To find out if you qualify for any of the workers’ compensation categories listed above, contact an experienced Denver injury attorney today at the Law Offices of Dianne Sawaya. We know what you’re going through and we know that is it extremely difficult to figure out what you should do next. We’ll explain all of your options so that you can make the best decision for you and your family.