If you suffer an accident at work, or an injury derived from repetitive work, your employer is responsible for providing medical treatment through an insurance company and paying you a percentage of your wages while you are unable to come to work or perform your normal duties. This is known as temporary disability, and is a fundamental part of the workers’ compensation benefits which EVERY worker is entitled to receive by law, regardless of their immigration status or social security, and regardless of their being at fault. After a preliminary evaluation, a qualified physician will determine if you are able to return to work or not. If you able to work, you will also be told what restrictions you should have upon returning.
There are two types of disability benefits; both are payments to compensate lost salary while you are recovering from your injury or illness.
-Temporary Total Disability (TTD): total disability payments are made if you cannot work under any circumstance during your recovery.
-Temporary Partial Disability (TPD): partial disability payments are made if you are able to come to work, but with restrictions; that is, for limited hours or to perform lighter duties for a lower wage. You also may be eligible for total disability (TTD) if your doctor restricts the type of work you can do and your boss does not provide full time work that adapts to your restrictions.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The employee does not pay taxes from his or her wages for temporary disability benefits.
How can you calculate your temporary total disability (TTD) benefits?
Usually, the temporary total disability benefits are equal to two-thirds of your total previous wages (before taxes).
How can you calculate your benefits for temporary partial disability (TPD)?
Temporary partial disability benefits are generally equal to two-thirds of your lost salary, according to the maximum rate of your temporary disability. Your lost salary is the difference between your normal weekly salary and the amount you are earning from working part-time.
Who decides if you can receive temporary disability?
The authorized physician who is treating you decides, whether the insurance doctor or a doctor of your choice. If you do not agree with the evaluation of this doctor, you can request a change in physician, or get a second opinion from a qualified medical examiner (QME) or an agreed medical examiner (AME). You lawyer may also dissent with the physician who is treating you and request a second opinion from a QME or an AME. (For information about how to change doctors or get a medical-legal opinion from a QME or an AME, see the informative sheet titled “Medical Care in the Workers’ Compensation System: Medical Assistance”).
When do temporary disability payments begin?
The first payment should be made within 2 to 8 weeks after your boss realizes that you are injured for work-related reasons, and that a qualified physician has examined you and determined that you are temporarily disabled from work. Eventually, you should be contacted by an adjustor from your company’s insurer, who will explain the calculation of your payment.
IMPORTANT NOTE: There are no benefits paid for the first three days of missed work, unless the injury lasts more than fourteen days or requires hospitalization.
When do the temporary disability benefit payments end?
You may continue to receive temporary disability payments until a) you return to work; b) your physician releases you to return to work (even if you do not return), considering that you have received all possible treatment; and c) you have received more than 104 weeks of compensation payment for the same injury in a period of 2 years.
What should you do if your rights are not upheld?
Many times, abusive employers take advantage of their employees’ ignorance or fear, and do not inform their workers of their rightful benefits; sending injured workers home to rest without opening the workers’ compensation case they deserve. This results in thousands of injured employees who do not receive medical treatment and disability payment while they are unable to work. At the same time, some employers ignore medical restrictions and force workers to perform the same extreme tasks when they are unable to do so.
If you are suffering this type of injustice, or if you have just had an accident or developed physical problems derived from your current job, it is important for you to act now. Call Grupo MedLegal, where you will find immediate assistance. You can trust Grupo MedLegal to provide you the support you need to ensure that you receive all the benefits you are entitled to, as well as just compensation for your injuries. You will not only be provided representation by a lawyer with extensive workers’ compensation experience, but you will also be given the free medical treatment that you need, provided by highly-qualified physicians who will work for your benefit.
This Blog is made available by Grupo MedLegal for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or medical advice. The information provided on the Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal or medical advice from a licensed professional.