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How long do temporary disability benefits last?

In our most recent post, we wrote about how much replacement for lost wages to expect from temporary disability (TD) benefits under the workers' compensation system.

In this post, let's look at another important aspect of TD benefits. We will discuss how long to expect TD benefits to last.

Of course, just as with lost wages, it is important to keep in mind that there are actually two different types of temporary disability benefits. One is temporary partial disability. The other is temporary total disability (TTD).

The way the work comp system works, you can expect your TTD benefits to end when you go back to work. This could be modified work or it could be regular work; either way, your temporary total disability benefits will end.

But going back to work is not the only event that can trigger an end to your TTD benefits. This can also happen when the authorized doctor who is treating you for your work injuries gives you a written release for return to regular work.

What if the release is for a return to modified work?

Well, in that case you will face a choice. You can either begin the modified work or refuse it. Either way, however, your TTD benefits will be at an end.

Employers are sometimes very eager to have employees return for modified or "light-duty" work. As we pointed out in our April 25 post, part-time work may also be a possibility.

Much depends, of course, on your medical condition. Under Colorado law, temporary total disability benefits do not continue past the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI).

Source: Colorado Department of Labor & Employment, Division of Workers' Compensation, "Employee's Guide," Accessed May 28, 2014

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