The most common type of workers’ compensation cash benefit is what is known as “temporary total disability.” In fact, 61 percent of cases involving cash benefits are made up of temporary total disability. This type of benefit is paid out to workers who suffer a workplace injury or illness that temporarily prevents them from returning to work. But how do you know if you are eligible for these benefits? What happens when you return to work? These questions and more can be fully answered by a qualified worker’s compensation attorney.
Who is Eligible for Temporary Total Disability Benefits?
In order to be eligible for temporary total disability benefits, you must meet the following general criteria:
- You are left unable to work for six or more calendar days (can be full or part-time and do not need to be consecutive)
- You cannot perform any other type of work
How Are Temporary Total Disability Benefits Calculated?
To come up with a general estimate of your total disability benefits, start by calculating your average weekly wage. Temporary total disability benefits are usually calculated at 60 percent of your gross average weekly wage. To find this figure, calculate your earnings for the 12 months immediately prior to your workplace injury. Then, divide this figure by 52 weeks to come up with your average weekly wage. Multiply this amount by 60 percent and you have a general estimate of your weekly benefit payout. There are always going to be exceptions, so take this figure with a grain of salt until you consult with an attorney.
Note: Any week in which you earned $5 is excluded in your average weekly wage unless your normal work hours are less than 15 hours per week.
What Benefits Are Included in Total Temporary Disability?
Under normal circumstances, temporary total disability benefits include:
- Medical expenses
- Prescription costs
- Reimbursement for travel to and from the hospital
- Payment for crutches, prosthetic devices, wheelchairs, etc.
When do Temporary Total Disability Benefits Stops?
Under Massachusetts’s workers’ compensation law, temporarily disabled workers can receive benefits for up to 156 weeks (3 years). It’s important to note here that benefits start on the sixth day after your injury unless you are unable to work for 21 days or more.
Before the 156 weeks is up, your benefits may be stopped if:
- You are able to return to work
- Your doctors allow you to return to work
Contact a Massachusetts Workers’ Comp Attorney
If you’ve been injured on-the-job, the types of benefits you may be eligible for can seem overwhelming. If you need help with any part of your workers’ compensation claim, whether you’re just starting out or you’re right in the middle of the process, one of our workers’ comp attorneys can give you the answers you need. Speak to one of our trusted attorneys at Powers & Caccavale today by filling out our free case evaluation or by calling us at (617) 379-0016.