Disability Benefits For Lost Wages
Temporary disability benefits are designed to replace the wages lost as a result of an injury. They consist of a maximum of two-thirds of the worker’s wages, not to exceed an upper limit. This limit is adjusted annually. Certain fringe benefits can be added into your wage but are often not mentioned by the insurance adjuster.
At Eley Law Firm in Denver, an experienced Colorado workers’ compensation attorney can explain temporary disability lost wages benefits. If there is a question about your eligibility, your disability or your rights, you can count on a law firm that has protected workers’ rights for more than 30 years.
Temporary And Total Disability Benefits
There are two types of temporary disability benefits: (I) temporary total disability (TTD) and (II) temporary partial disability (TPD). TTD benefits are offered to workers who cannot perform any aspect of their job as determined by their doctor. Anyone who is deemed to have sustained a TTD will be entitled to two-thirds of his or her average weekly pay.
Workers who sustain a TPD include those who are able to return to work but are unable to perform the same work as before their injury occurred. These workers could receive two-thirds of their decrease in wages if they cannot work full time or if they suffered a reduction of pay.
What Is A Weekly Average Wage?
Temporary benefits and permanent disability benefits are determined by the average weekly wage of the injured worker. If the average weekly wage is not calculated correctly and is too low, the injured worker will not receive as many benefits as he or she may be due.
There are several ways the average weekly wage may be calculated. Workers’ compensation insurers will often interpret the average weekly wage in a way that minimizes the amount they will have to pay. For example, if a worker was making more money at the time he or she is injured, then the insurer may want to calculate the average weekly wage based on what the employee earned over the past year, instead of what the employee was earning when he or she was hurt. The average weekly wage should always be a true reflection of what an individual worker was earning at the time of the injury.
Commissions and overtime are two types of income that a workers’ compensation insurer frequently misses when determining the average weekly wage. To make sure these are included in the calculation, it is important to verify that your overtime and commissions earnings were properly reported to the insurer.
You should let your attorney know if you are currently working multiple jobs as your weekly average wage should reflect your total pay.
Are There Limits?
An injured worker will be paid temporary benefits until one of the following happens:
- The worker is able to return to work on a full-time basis, even if the employer no longer has a position available for the employee.
- The worker returns to work with restrictions, so long as the employer offers a job for the same hour and rate of pay.
- The worker is terminated from employment for fault. Injured workers who were terminated for fault could elect to challenge their termination by filing a claim, arguing that their employer terminated them to avoid paying further workers’ compensation benefits.
- The worker reaches maximum medical improvement (MMI), which is defined as the point where the injury is not expected to see any major improvements. This can be challenged by requesting an independent examination, or the worker could seek permanent disability benefits.
Contact A Lost Wage Disability Lawyer
Call the Eley Law Firm today at 720-759-3064 for a free case evaluation from a workers’ compensation lawyer. You may also fill out the email form on the Contact page, and a representative from the office will be in touch with you shortly. We look forward to hearing from you and helping with your workers’ comp case.