Saturday, April 4, 2009

Temporary Partial Disability Wage Loss Benefits (TPD)

Temporary partial disability (TPD) is a wage-loss benefit payable to employees who are back to work, but earning less than their pre-injury gross weekly wage. It is payable at two-thirds of the difference between what the employee earned at the time of the injury and the current earnings. The benefits are payable only if the employee is employed. Be careful not to confuse "not being employed" with "being employed, but on vacation." If an employee who is collecting TPD takes one week of vacation, the employee is still employed and TPD should be paid for that week at an average weekly rate. TPD benefits can be paid concurrently with permanent partial disability (PPD).

Over the years, the laws regarding entitlement to TPD benefits have changed dramatically. Your injury may have included limitations on the duration of TPD benefits. It is important to remember that the date of injury controls many your rights to workers compensation benefits, so any potential limitations in effect on the date of the injury, may affect the length of payment of TPD. Just because a friend or neighbor is receiving a particular amount for a certain duration doesn’t mean you are limited or entitled to the same amount. That is why it is important to contact attorney Tom Atkinson and MN Disability to discuss your case today at 651-333-3636.

For injuries occurring on or after Oct. 1, 1992

TPD is limited to 225 weeks of paid benefits or 450 weeks after the date of injury, whichever occurs first. All periods of TPD for that date of injury are counted toward these limitations, except benefits paid during an approved training plan.

For injuries occurring on or after Oct. 1, 1995

176.101 Compensation Schedule (1995)
Subd. 2. Temporary partial disability.
(a) In all cases of temporary partial disability the compensation shall be 66-2/3 percent of the difference between the weekly wage of the employee at the time of injury and the wage the employee is able to earn in the employee's partially disabled condition. This compensation shall be paid during the period of disability except as provided in this section, payment to be made at the intervals when the wage was payable, as nearly as may be, and subject to the maximum rate for temporary total compensation.
(b) Temporary partial compensation may be paid only while the employee is employed, earning less than the employee's weekly wage at the time of the injury, and the reduced wage the employee is able to earn in the employee's partially disabled condition is due to the injury. Except as provided in section 176.102, subdivision 11, paragraph (b) and (c), temporary partial compensation may not be paid for more than 225 weeks, or after 450 weeks after the date of injury, whichever occurs first.
(c) Temporary partial compensation must be reduced to the extent that the wage the employee is able to earn in the employee's partially disabled condition plus the temporary partial disability payment otherwise payable under this subdivision exceeds 500 percent of the statewide average weekly wage.

Calculation of Average Weekly Wage (AWW)

As you can see from the statutory language, calculating your benefit amount can be very confusing. However, below is an example that may make it easier for you to understand.

For example, an employee earning $500 a week at the time of the injury is now earning $200 a week. The wage loss is $300 a week and the unadjusted TPD is two-thirds of that, or $200 a week. The $200 is multiplied by any annual adjustments that would apply.
Minnesota’s Workers’ Compensation laws are difficult for lawyers who dabble in workers compensation on occasion as a small part of their practice so it should be no surprise that it is difficult for the injured worker to understand. We can review you existing receipt of workers compensation benefits to ensure you are receiving the correct amounts. Minor mistakes by the insurance adjuster, such as improper calculation of your average weekly wage, can dramatically affect the amount of your benefits.

At MN Disability & Atkinson Law Offices representing injured and disabled workers is ALL we do. We don’t handle slips and falls, write wills or work on family law matters. We have chosen to focus on one area of the law for nearly two decades and that is why his peers have recognized Tom Atkinson as a Super Lawyer! Call 651-324-9514 or