Temporary Total Disability Benefits

Some workplace accidents result in serious injuries that prevent an employee from doing any type of work for a period of time, but that worker will eventually make a complete recovery and be able to later return to his or her job. In this situation, temporary total disability (TTD) workers’ compensation benefits may be appropriate.

What are temporary total disability benefits?

Pursuant to the law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, temporary total disability benefits are governed by Chapter 152, Section 34 of the General Laws. TTD benefits are designed to compensate a worker injured on the job for medical expenses and lost wages. Benefits are calculated at 60 percent of a worker’s gross average weekly wage. The average weekly wage includes the pre-tax amount and pre-benefits amount less the total of any overtime or bonuses for the 52 weeks of work prior to the debilitating injury. If an injured worker did not work for a full 52 weeks, his or her total earnings should be divided by the number of weeks actually worked. Once the total gross income is calculated, that figure is multiplied by 60 percent to reach the appropriate workers’ compensation benefit level.

What is the maximum length of time to receive temporary total disability benefits?

The maximum time period for receiving TTD benefits in Massachusetts is 156 weeks or three years. Compensation is supposed to begin on the sixth day of incapacity due to a workplace injury. There is no compensation for the first five days of lost wages. If a worker is still receiving temporary total disability benefits at the end of three years and is not able to return to work, it will be necessary to apply for permanent total disability benefits though it is not necessary to wait the entire three years before applying for a change in disability rating.

At the Law Offices of Jeffery S. Glassman, LLC, our workers’ compensation benefits attorneys in Boston routinely assist clients in obtaining temporary total disability compensation. A typical case might involve an industrial accident where the client temporarily loses functionality in both legs, but will eventually be able to return to work at his or her full capacity. One example might be from an accident where a worker falls down a flight of stairs or from an elevated piece of construction equipment.

In this scenario, there will likely be a lot of medical expenses, and a very long recovery period. During that time, he or she will need to be compensated for lost wages and medical bills but will likely be able to return to work in less than the three-year limit placed upon the receipt of temporary total disability benefits.

These cases are never simple and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) states that injured employees should consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney before applying for benefits. The sooner an attorney is involved in the process, the greater the chance of obtaining of full and appropriate workers’ compensation award.

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