Temporary Total Disability (TPD)
Many times, the employer’s doctor will place temporary restrictions after a work-related injury. If the employee cannot perform his/her regular job, the employer is obligated to pay temporary total disability (TTD) until the employee either goes back to work, or the injuries reach a state of maximum medical improvement. However, the law allows an employer to create temporary light duty jobs as a way to avoid paying TTD. Light duty jobs include sedentary or sit-down jobs or even working reduced hours.
However, if the light duty job causes a worker to earn less than at the time of the injury, the employee is entitled to another benefit, temporary partial disability (TPD). TPD is calculated by taking 2/3 of the difference between the employee’s average weekly wage (before taxes) at the time of the injury and the actual amount earned after the injury. For example, assume that at the time of injury the employee averages $600 per week before taxes, and that employee suffers an injury that causes the employee to be only able to work half time during the healing period and earn $300 per week. In that case, the employee is entitled to 2/3 of the difference between the average weekly wage of $600 and what was actually earned, $300, or $200 per week. There is a 7 day waiting period, but if the temporary partial disability lasts more than 21 days, the employee is entitled to be compensated for the first seven days.
We are not sure why, but many times employers do not pay TPD. Maybe they think that if they offer any light duty work, even if the light duty job pays less, they do not have to pay anything else. Well, they are wrong. If you have suffered a work injury and are working light duty and not earning the same amount of money as at the time of your injury, you probably have a right to TPD. Please contact us with any questions.
Nathan B. Maudlin, PC