The law in Indiana provides injured workers with three forms of disability pay: Temporary Total Disability (TTD), Temporary Partial Disability (TPD), and Permanent Total Disability (PTD).
Temporary Partial Disability
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) is paid when an injured worker is only PARTIALLY unable to work for a TEMPORARY period because of a work-related injury. In other words, the injured worker is either limited in the number of hours he or she can work OR needs to be temporarily re-assigned to a job that earns less than what the worker earned prior to the job accident and the amount he or she earns in this temporary re-assignment is less than sixty-six and two-thirds (66 2/3%) percent of the difference between his or her average weekly wage before and after the injury.
Another way of stating this is if you return to your job with restrictions while still under the care of the worker’s compensation insurance carrier’s doctor, and the earnings you bring home are the same or more than the amount you received when completely off work and earning TTD benefits, then you will NOT be entitled to any additional disability pay. If, however, you are able to return to your place of employment, but what you bring home is less than what you would have earned if you were completely off work for the injury, then you will be paid this difference.
An injured worker can earn a maximum of 300 weeks of TPD pay.
Barbara is a cook for the local college. One day at work, she dropped a heavy pot on her foot, injuring a couple of her toes bad enough to require surgery. The doctor said she could return to work while her toes and foot healed if she was in a sit down job that allowed her to prop her foot. He also said she should work no more than four hours a day. Before the accident, Brenda worked 8 hours a day.
Barbara’s employer was able to meet her restrictions by having her work the cash register for 4 hours each day. Since she will be able to work while healing, Barbara is only PARTIALLY disabled from her job. Barbara’s toes will heal, so her disability is TEMPORARY.
In the above example, if Barbara’s income from this temporary, cash register job is less than 66 2/3% her average weekly wage before the accident, then she will receive the different in TPD benefits. However, if her income from working 4 hours a day as a cashier is equal to or more than 66 2/3% her average weekly wage before the accident, then she will not receive any TPD pay.
Remember that before you receive any type of disability pay, the following must occur:
- Your claim has been accepted by the worker’s compensation insurance carrier.
- Their doctor has ordered you off work or put you on restrictions that your employer is unable to meet.
- You have been ordered off work for more than 7 days (not necessarily consecutive days).
End of TPD Benefits
You will no longer qualify for disability pay if your job can accommodate the doctor’s restrictions and you income is equal to or more than what you drew in TPD benefits.
Once you have been released at maximum medical improvement by their doctor, your disability checks will stop even if you are unable to return to the job you held before the work accident. The only exception to this rule is a case involving permanent and total disability.
Depending on your situation, it is likely that you will receive notice from the insurance carrier when your disability pay is about to stop.
To learn more about other types of disability pay, like Temporary Total Disability, click here.