Total Disability v. Temporary Disability

The NJ Workers’ Compensation Law provides for the following benefits: Medical Benefits, Temporary Disability Benefits, Permanent Partial Benefits, Permanent Total Benefits, and Death Benefits to name a few.

Temporary Total Disability Benefits are offered if an injured worker is disabled for more than seven days. The benefits are calculated at a rate of 70% the average weekly wage and cannot exceed 75% of the Statewide Average Weekly Wage (SAWW) or fall below the minimum rate of 20% of the SAWW. Benefits are terminated by when the worker is released to return to work in some capacity, or if the worker has reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI is used when more treatment, if given, will no longer improve the medical condition of the injured worker.

Permanent Total Benefits, on the other hand, occurs when a work injury or illness prevents a worker from returning to any type of gainful employment. These weekly benefits are provided for 450 weeks, and continue past this time as long as the injured worker is able to show that he or she remains unable to earn wages. These benefits are paid weekly and are based on 70% of the average weekly wage, and cannot exceed 75% of the Statewide Average Weekly Wage (SAWW), or fall below the minimum rate of 20% of the SAWW. A combination of injuries that leave a worker unemployable, or when a worker has lost two main members of the body such as eyes, arms, hands, legs or feet, then that person is presumed eligible for Permanent Total Benefits. To find out more about benefits, see the New Jersey Department of Labor site for: Frequently Asked Questions about Benefits.

Learn about your rights with the help of attorneys at Taylor & Boguski in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. The claims process of filing for workers’ compensation can be challenging and the outcome can negatively affect the worker’s quality of life if there is less than favorable determination in the case. Thus, it is best to speak to a workers’ compensation lawyer who will charge no fees until the matter is resolved. At that time, the judge determines the proper legal fees to be paid to the attorney. Call 800-404-5299 or 856-234-2233 for a free consultation or contact us online.

The Difference between Permanent Partial Disability, Permanent Total Disability, and Temporary Total Disability

If you have been injured on the job in New Jersey, you may pursue benefits for your injuries through the state’s workers’ compensation system. Under state law, recovery for injuries caused by the negligence or wrongful act of your employer or a co-employee is limited to benefits available through a workers’ compensation claim. If, however, you are hurt because of the careless act of a third party, such as the driver of a vehicle, or the manufacturer of dangerous or defective equipment, you may be able to seek damages in a personal injury lawsuit as well as pursue a workers’ compensation claim.

The workers’ compensation statutes are set up to pay benefits based on the type of injury. Benefits can be temporary or permanent, and the disability caused by your injury can be partial, preventing you from performing specific tasks; or it can be total, making it impossible for you to work at all. If any injury prevents you from working temporarily you may be eligible for temporary total disability benefits. After you have been determined to have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) for the injury you may be eligible for a permanent partial or permanent total disability award.

What Is Permanent Partial Disability?

The most frequent type of workers’ compensation claim is one for a permanent partial disability (PPD). The injury is considered to be permanent when it is determined that you will never fully recover from it. It is considered to be partial when it prevents you from conducting all tasks required of your job, or from working at full capacity. Such an injury can result from a traumatic accident, or from an occupational illness.

There are a wide range of injuries and illnesses that will qualify you for PPD benefits. Some common work related permanent partial disability injuries are:

  • Back injuries
  • Permanent loss of vision or hearing
  • Shoulder, hip, knee, elbow or other joint injury
  • Amputation or loss of limb
  • Repetitive stress syndrome

The amount of benefits you can receive in a PPD claim is typically based on the degree to which you injury limits your ability to work, know as your disability rating.

What Is Permanent Total Disability?

If the work related injury renders you totally permanently disabled you may be eligible for permanent total disability (PTD). In order to receive PTD benefits a person must be totally disabled and unable to return to gainful employment.

If you are totally disabled as a result of a work related accident you may be eligible for benefits for the remainder of your life.

What Is Temporary Total Disability?

You can seek temporary total disability (TTD) benefits when you are either temporarily unable to return to work because of an injury or illness, or your doctor authorizes you to return to lighter duty work, but your employer has no such work for you. Typically, you are entitled to TTD benefits until you have physically recovered and are able to return to work full time, or your employer is able to put you back to work at doctor-approved tasks.

Examples of injury or illness that can make you eligible for TTD include:

  • Broken bones that make it impossible to work
  • Sprains, strains or muscle pulls, particularly in your back or knees

To schedule a free initial consultation, contact Taylor & Boguski by e-mail. To learn more about our practice, visit our practice area overview page.