19 Dec Different Disability Claims in Workers’ Compensation
If you’ve suffered a workplace injury, you should know that three stages are recognized in Arizona in an accepted workers’ compensation claim. These stages are based on medical decisions, and may change depending upon your doctor’s and the IME (independent medical examination) report.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
TTD means that the injured worker is temporarily but totally disabled and can’t work for some time. In this stage, the employer’s insurer will pay for all medical expenses related to the work injury if an approved doctor provides them. The injured worker may receive benefits for two-thirds of lost wages. A hearing may be needed if the insurance company disputes the TTD claim.
The doctor must provide documentation that the injured worker is unable to work for the following reasons:
- Time needed to diagnose the injury, without risking further injury
- Time for the injury to heal
- Any other reason that the doctor believes the injured worker is unable to perform work duties
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)
TPD means the injured worker still needs medical treatment but they can return to their duties or modified light duty work.
The employer’s insurer will pay all medical expenses and two-thirds of the difference between the average monthly wage and the wages for modified work.
If the worker states that the employer doesn’t have light duty work to offer, and no other light duty jobs are available, TTD benefits continue. Insurance companies try to avoid paying for this by proving that the worker could have found other light duty work, and reduce disability benefits. If this is the case, you need an attorney during the claim process.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
PPD means that the doctor believes that the injured worker has received maximum possible benefit from medical treatment and any additional treatment will not lead to additional improvement to the injury.
The case will be closed from further active medical care, even though the worker has a permanent disability. In case of a serious injury, permanent disability may be awarded through a permanent impairment rating.
Why you need an Arizona workers’ compensation attorney?
Regardless of the stage you’re at, in your workers’ compensation claim, it’s important to understand each stage and know the specifics of your case. Don’t wait till your claim is denied. At the same time, it is recommended that you hire an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to be by your side, in case a dispute arises.