Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
The first potential work comp wage loss benefit is Temporary Total Disability. This is explained under Minnesota Statute section 176.101, subd. 1. Basically, an employee is entitled to this benefit if their doctor has indicated that they are unable to work because of the work injury, or, although they are capable of working with some physical restrictions, their employer is not willing to accommodate those restrictions (if this is the case, the employee must conduct a diligent job search). If one of these conditions exists, and the employee has not reached 90 days post MMI, the Employee will be entitled to 2/3 of his average weekly wage subject to a maximum cited in the statute above. This is a basic summary of the benefit. There are many other defenses an insurer can make to deny an employee this benefit. The maximum number of weeks an employee can receive this benefit is 130 (104 for injuries prior to Oct 2013).
Partial Disability Benefits
The second type of work comp wage loss benefit is called temporary partial disability benefits. This benefit is formalized in subd 2 of the same statute. An employee is entitled to this benefit if an employee is earning less than their average weekly wage, and has physical restrictions on his or her ability to work because of the work related injury. The maximum number of weeks an employee can receive this benefit is 225. Again, this is generally how this benefit works. The case law regarding all these benefits is extensive.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
The third type of work comp wage loss benefit is permanent partial disability. This is cited in subd. 3 of Minnesota Statute 176.101. This benefit provides a percentage for a specific injury to a body part. These percentages are provided here. I have previously detailed how this benefit is calculated.
Permanent Total Disability (PTD)
Permanent total disability benefits (PTD) is the fourth type of work comp wage loss benefit. Like TTD benefits, entitlement to PTD benefits is determined by the Minnesota workers’ compensation law in effect on the date of injury. Prior to October 1, 1992 permanent total disability was defined as: “The total and permanent loss of the sight of both eyes, the loss of both arms at the shoulder, the loss of both legs so close to the hips that no effective artificial members can be used, complete and permanent paralysis, total and permanent loss of mental faculties, or any other injury which totally incapacitates the employee from working in an occupation which brings the employee an income constitutes total disability.”
In 1992 the law was amended to state: “totally and permanently incapacitated means that the employee’s physical disability, in combination with the employee’s age, education, training and experience, causes the employee to be unable to secure anything more than sporadic employment resulting in an insubstantial income.”
In 1995 the law was amended again to include certain thresholds for the medical/vocational test. In order to be entitled to PPD work comp benefits for medical/vocational test, an injured employee must meet one of the following thresholds:
1. Employee has at least a 17 permanent partial disability rating; or
2. The employee has a permanent partial disability rating of the whole body of at least 15 percent and the employee is at least 50 years old at the time of injury; or
3. The employee has a permanent partial disability rating of the whole body of at least 13 percent and the employee is at least 55 years old at the time of the injury, and has not completed grade 12 or obtained a GED certificate.
This is generally how these work comp wage loss benefits operate. However, as stated before, the case law in these areas is extensive. If you believe that you are entitled to one of the benefits, and are not receiving it, contact our Minnesota work comp lawyer today for a free consultation at 651-222-6603.