Accidents happen, and when they do, they may leave you unable to work.
While you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, knowing which compensation benefits you will receive can be tricky. This is because there are various types of worker’s compensation benefits available.
One common workers’ compensation benefit is indemnity benefits. Indemnity benefits are designed to compensate workers for lost wages. The compensation you receive under this category can vary depending on whether the disability caused by the injury was total or partial and whether it is temporary or permanent.
Keep reading to learn more about your options, rights, and benefits as a temporarily partially disabled employee. Here’s all you need to know about temporary partial disability benefits in Georgia.
What Is a Temporary Partial Disability Benefit?
Temporary partial disability benefits (TPD) are workers’ compensation benefits that provide financial assistance to workers who can temporarily not perform some of their job duties due to a work-related injury. TPD benefits compensate employees for the wages they have lost due to a temporary partial disability.
Injuries or illnesses that qualify for TPD benefits include those that cause an employee to be unable to perform some, but not all, of their job duties. For example, an employee who has suffered a broken arm may be unable to lift heavy objects but can still perform other lighter job duties.
TPD benefits differ from other types of disability benefits, such as Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits and Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) benefits. Here’s how they differ:
- TPD benefits are available to employees who can still work but have lost wages due to their partial disability. Their partial disability makes them unable to work at their former capacity.
- TTD benefits are available to employees who cannot do any work due to injury or illness. However, their disability is only temporary, and they’ll be able to get back to work once they heal.
- PPD benefits are available to employees with permanent partial disability. This means that they can no longer do the work they are trained and qualified for but can still do other jobs.
How to Apply for Temporary Partial Disability Benefits
If you have been injured on the job in Georgia, take the necessary steps to pursue Workers’ Comp TPD benefits. The first step is immediately reporting the accident to your employer and seeking medical attention. Delaying reporting can result in a loss of benefits you may be entitled to.
To protect your rights and ensure you receive the benefits you deserve, you must complete a Form WC-14 within one year of your accident or one year of your last medical treatment provided by your employer. You must file this form with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation and send copies to your employer and workers’ compensation insurer.
After a work-related injury, you can receive medical treatment from a doctor on your employer’s panel of physicians. This authorized treating physician will determine your work status and any physical restrictions you may have, such as limitations on lifting or standing for extended periods.
If the physician decides that you have work restrictions and your employer can accommodate them, but you are earning less than you were before your injury, you may be entitled to TPD benefits.
How to Calculate Your Temporary Partial Disability Benefits
TPD benefits calculation considers the wages the employee can earn despite their partial disability. To determine how much you’ll earn, you’ll need to know your average weekly wage before you were hurt and your current average weekly wage.
The temporary disability benefits you’ll get are equivalent to two-thirds of the difference between your pre-injury and post-injury wages. State law would designate a maximum possible benefit of $450 per week if your injury occurred after July 1, 2019.
For example, assume you earned $700 per week before your injury. And after your injury, your average weekly wage is reduced to $500. The difference between these two figures is $200. So, your weekly benefit would be two-thirds of $200, which is $133.
How Long Do TPD Benefits Last?
In Georgia, the law limits the duration of Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) benefits to a maximum of 350 weeks from the date of the injury. While this duration may be sufficient for most damages, it may not be enough for severe injuries that cause permanent restrictions, making it challenging for workers to return to work.
For some injured workers, 350 weeks of TPD benefits may be enough to allow them to return to full-time work or their previous job. However, for those who cannot return to their former employment, it may be necessary to apply for permanent disability benefits.
How TPD Arrangements Can Go Wrong
Things can go wrong, and arguments may arise during TPD arrangements. Some of these include
Denial of Benefits
Sometimes, your employer or insurer may unjustly deny you your TPD benefits. This is common when there is a dispute over the injury, or your employer disputes your work restrictions.
Calculating TPD benefits can be tricky, and your employer may do the calculation incorrectly, resulting in inadequate benefits.
Failure to Accommodate
If an employer fails to accommodate an employee’s work restrictions, they may not be eligible for TPD benefits. Unfortunately, some employers may resist accommodating these restrictions, which can result in lost benefits for the injured employee.
Application for TPD benefits requires an administrative process outlined by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. So, ensuring that you meet all deadlines and submit all necessary documentation might be challenging.
How a Compensation Attorney Can Help
TPD arrangements can go wrong, and your employer may deny your benefits. If this happens, you need an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. And this is where we come in. At Gearhart Law Group, we guide you every step of the way and ensure your rights are protected and you receive the benefits you deserve.
If you’re unsure whether you’re entitled to TPD benefits, we can help! We’ll take the time to analyze your situation and help you understand all the details. With us behind you, you can make informed decisions and be confident in the outcomes!
How can I calculate my temporary partial disability benefits?
To determine the TPD rate, you need to take two-thirds (⅔) of the difference between the average weekly wage the claimant earned before their injury and the average weekly wage they currently earn upon returning to work, subject to a maximum.
What would happen if I worked more than one job at the time of injury?
You may be able to add the wages from all your jobs to determine your average weekly wage, depending on whether the job is deemed “similar” or “dissimilar.” This gets very tricky and requires legal counsel..
When do TPD payments end?
TPD payments end when you have recovered from your injury or illness and can return to work or reach the maximum duration of TPD benefits under your state’s workers’ compensation laws.
How do temporary partial disability benefits differ from total disability benefits?
Temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits are for workers who can still perform some job duties, while total disability benefits are for workers who cannot work due to injury or illness.