Thursday, March 12, 2009

Temporary Total and Temporary Partial Disability Benefits and the Waiting Period Under MN Workers’ Comp. Law

If you are injured on the job in Minnesota and you miss time from work, in order to be eligible for wage loss benefits, including temporary total disability benefits or temporary partial disability benefits, your inability to work must extend beyond the three day “waiting period.”

While it sounds simple enough, calculating the waiting period of three days can actually be fairly complex. Here’s a guide to computing the waiting period:
  • The waiting period is counted in consecutive calendar-days, not workdays.
  • The first day of any disability is the first day to start counting the waiting period.
  • Any disability or time missed from work, including missing just part of the day, even if your employer paid you for a full day’s work, is considered the first day of disability.
  • If you miss time from work to get medical treatment, that day is considered a day of disability for purposes of calculating the waiting period.
  • If you miss time from work beyond the three day waiting period, compensation is owed for dates of disability after the three-day waiting period.
  • If you miss time from work on the 10th calendar day or beyond, counted from the first date of missed time due to injury, compensation is owed from the first date of disability, including for time missed during the waiting period.
  • If the only disability beyond the waiting period is for days you are not normally scheduled to work (such as holidays or weekends), there is generally no compensation owed for those days of disability.
If your disability extends beyond the waiting period, you may be entitled to wage loss benefits, including temporary total disability or temporary partial disability benefits. If you have no disability on or beyond the tenth day after your initial date of disability, generally, you are not entitled to compensation for any lost time during the initial waiting period. If you have a period of disability on the tenth calendar day after the first day you lost work time due to your injury, the insurer is responsible for compensation for time lost during the waiting period.

Waiting period calculation errors are one of the most common errors we see by workers’ compensation insurance adjusters. We also frequently see them failing to pay for time missed during the waiting period if the disability extends beyond the tenth day. Unfortunately, errors like this are extremely common.

If you believe there may be an error in the calculation of your wage loss benefits, call us to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation. We can be reached at 877-746-5680 or click here to send us an email.

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