What Benefits Can An Injured Worker Receive While Off Work?
One of the biggest misconceptions in a workers’ compensation claim is that the claimant is entitled to 100% lost wages while he or she is off work for a work related injury. In reality, there is nothing in the Arkansas laws that tells the claimant that they are entitled to recover 100% of their wages while they are off work for an injury. On the other hand the claimant does have other remedies available.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
Temporary total disability (TTD) is that period within the healing period in which claimant suffers a total incapacity to earn wages. Ark. State Highway & Transportation Dept. v. Breshears, 272 Ark. 244, 613 S.W.2d 392 (1981). Basically, if a doctor takes a claimant completely off work, then the claimant is entitled to TTD benefits. The claimant can get paid 66 2/3 % of his Average Weekly Wage, but only up to a maximum value determined by the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission. It is important to have an attorney to review these amounts, because often times the workers’ compensation insurance company undervalues the claimant’s wages, and thus underpays his weekly benefits. It is important to make sure that you are receiving every benefit that you are legally entitled to.
Additionally, if a doctor has not taken a claimant completely off of work, but has given temporary work restrictions, you need to seek advice from an attorney as to what your options may be. Under the current laws, if your employer offers a claimant work within his or her restrictions, and the claimant does not accept, then the claimant may not receive either a TTD benefit check or a paycheck.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)
Temporary partial disability (TPD) is a benefit payable to injured workers who are back to work, but earning less than their TTD benefit check. When a claimant is under a doctors care for the work related injury, but has been released to perform some restricted work for the employer, often times the employer cannot accommodate those restrictions for forty (40) hours per week. However, if the claimant performs some work for the employer, they are entitled to get paid for the work that they have performed. But what if that doesn’t add up to much money? The workers’ compensation insurance carrier must pay the difference between what the employer has paid and up to 66 2/3% of his or her average weekly wage. Thus, the claimant will earn at least his or her TTD rate during this time.
In order to receive all the benefits you are entitled to it is important to have a Rainwater, Holt & Sexton workers’ compensation attorney helping you.