Temporary Total Disability Benefits
Workers are entitled to weekly temporary total disability benefits if they are unable to perform any job. It should be noted that inability to do one's former job is not necessarily enough. Total inability to perform work of any reasonable kind is required. In order to obtain benefits you must be disabled for at least six (6) calendar days. Note, we are talking about calendar days not work days. The six (6) days do not have to be consecutive. Benefits begin on the sixth day, but do not cover the first five (5) days of disability unless you are out longer than 21 days. For example, if you lose seven (7) days of work, you would only be paid for two (2) days under Section 34. If you were out 22 days, you would receive the full 22 days of benefits. An employee who loses less than six (6) days, would not receive weekly benefits, but would still be entitled to medical benefits. Weekly benefits are sixty percent of the employee's "average weekly wage" of the employee's average weekly wage). Weekly temporary total disability benefits can extend for up to three (3) years. The present maximum weekly rate for temporary total disability is $1,291.74, as of October 1, 2016; and it increases every October 1st based on the increase in the state wide average weekly wage. Some examples may be helpful: An employee injured on or after October 1, 2016, with an average weekly wage of $700.00, would receive temporary total disability in the amount of $420.00 a week. Another employee, injured on the same date, with an average weekly wage of $2,500.00 a week, would receive $1,291.74 per week, which is the maximum weekly benefit provided. He would not receive $1,500.00 per week because 60% of his average wage exceeds the maximum; therefore, the maximum benefit of $1,291.74 per week applies. The minimum compensation rate is 20% of the state wide average weekly wage in effect as of the date of the injury, except in the case of an employee whose average weekly earnings are less than this 20% figure. This employee will receive compensation equal to his or her average weekly wage.