Temporary Disability and Temporary Partial Disability
The most basic kind of benefits available to injured workers is Temporary Disability (TD). Temporary disability payments are generally paid weekly until the worker is able to return to their job. Workers can apply for TD if they:
(1) Were hospitalized or missed three or more days of work because of their injuries AND
(2) Have not been offered another job to do in the meantime by their employer.
The law stipulates that in 2014 an employee’s temporary disability payments are equal to two-thirds of their gross earnings up to a maximum of $1064. This amount increases slightly each year. Workers don’t pay taxes, union dues, or Social Security payments on their TD. Most of the time you will receive your first TD payment about two weeks after your claim is accepted.
It’s important to understand that in some cases, employees who are able to do some kind of work while in recovery and are offered such a job by their employer can still apply for Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) benefits if the wages they receive during this time are below a certain amount established by state law.
Calculating the amount of TD a worker can get very complicated when other variables are involved. If you had a second job at the time of your injury, had a seasonal job, had wages that rose or fell regularly, had other income besides wages (such as tips or bonuses), were scheduled for a wage increase, or received TD benefits for a period of over two years following the date of the injury, you should speak with a skilled workers’ compensation attorney about how your TD benefits should be calculated.
In the event that your employer’s insurance company is unwilling to pay TD benefits, you may be able to obtain State Disability Insurance payments from the Employment Development Department. In order to do this, you need to inform the person handling your case at the EDD that your request for workers’ comp benefits was denied. Workers are prohibited by law from receiving benefits from both their employers’ insurance carrier and from the EDD.