Wednesday, January 25, 2012

More TTD Means TPD More Likely: MN Workers’ Comp. Wage Loss

According to an analysis done by the MN Department of Labor and Industry, workers who receive Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits for an extended period are more likely to be eligible for Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) benefits once they return to work. 

Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits are available to injured workers if they are completely restricted from working, or if they are unable to return to their date-of-injury employer as a result of their injuries, and they are conducting a diligent job search. These benefits are currently available for a maximum of 130 weeks at a rate of 2/3 of the workers’ average weekly wage (AWW) at the time of the injury, capped at a maximum of $850.00 per week. If the employee has reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), entitlement to TTD ceases 90 days after reaching MMI.

Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) benefits are available to injured workers who are able to return to work at a reduced wage due to their work-related injury or illness. TPD benefits are available for a maximum of 225 weeks, but for no more than 450 weeks after the date of injury. TPD benefits are paid at a rate of 2/3 of the difference between the workers’ average weekly wage (AWW) and their reduced earnings.

The Department of Labor and Industry determined that the overall percentage of injured workers with wage loss benefits who receive TPD benefits has stayed at about 29 percent. For injuries between 2003 and 2008, the percentage of indemnity claims with TPD benefits increases with the duration of TTD benefits, leveling off at about 55 percent for claims with more than six month of TTD benefits.

In plain language, what this means it that the longer an injured worker receives temporary total disability (TTD) benefits, the more likely it is that he or she will be eligible for temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits. 

In our Minnesota workers' compensation practice, we see many claims where an injured worker with permanent restrictions returned to work, possibly with minimal or no wage loss, and then subsequently lost that job, or had to take a lower paying job due to his or her injuries. In many of these cases, the injured worker was never told they were eligible for additional TPD benefits.

For a free, no-obligation workers' compensation case evaluation, contact Meuser & Associate at 877-746-5680, or click here to send us an email to schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys. 


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