Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation laws are in place to provide financial benefits if you experience a work-related injury or illness. Depending on the circumstances, you may be eligible for permanent partial disability or temporary total disability payments. Understanding the difference between temporary total and permanent partial disability can help you determine whether you are receiving all the workers’ comp benefits you deserve.
What Is Temporary Total Disability?
A temporary total disability occurs when a job-related illness or injury prevents you from working in any capacity. You can be eligible for TTD payments beginning one week from the date you were last able to work. The level of TTD benefits you receive will be a percentage of your average weekly wages up to a predetermined maximum amount. Pennsylvania uses a statutory formula to perform the calculation.
You can receive TTD benefits indefinitely, although this is subject to change. After 104 weeks, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer can request an Impairment Rating Evaluation. If the IRE determines that you are less than 35% impaired, you may be moved to permanent partial disability status.
What Is Permanent Partial Disability?
Permanent partial disability means that you’re not totally disabled and can return to work in a modified capacity. You may be eligible for these benefits if your illness or injury results in receiving lower wages than before the incident occurred. Pennsylvania calculates PPD benefits based on the difference between the average earnings before and after the onset of the disability.
In Pennsylvania, you may get PPD payments for up to 500 weeks from the date of the classification of your condition as a partial disability. During this period, you can file for total disability status if an IRE indicates that your level of impairment reaches or surpasses the 35% threshold.
Examples of injuries or conditions that can fall under PPD include:
- Back injuries
- Head injuries
- Post Concussion injuries
- Joint Injuries
- Trauma with ongoing injuries
Whether you’re on TTD or PPD, you’ll receive bi-weekly compensation checks for as long as you’re eligible for benefits. You can also get payments to cover any medical expenses related to your disability.
You May Need Legal Help to Get Your Workers’ Comp Benefits
Your employer and its workers’ compensation insurance carrier will make every effort to deny your claim or limit your payout for temporary total or permanent partial disability benefits. You’ll likely need effective legal representation to help you get what you deserve.
If you’re in Central Pennsylvania or the surrounding areas, the experienced, certified attorneys at Frommer D’Amico can help. We’re experts in PA workers’ comp law. We’ll help you develop a winning legal strategy that will enable you to achieve the best outcome for your situation.
Give us a call at 717-400-1000 or contact us online to learn more about partial disability vs. total disability and schedule a free case review today. We can also come to your location to meet with you in person.