Temporary Total Disability vs. Permanent Partial Disability
If you have been injured in the Commonwealth of PA, chances are that you are either on Temporary Total Disability or Permanent Partial Disability. Below is an explanation of the difference between the two.
Workers’ Compensation benefits in Pennsylvania are in two parts: Wage loss and medical benefits. The wage loss is to pay you at a “Compensation Rate” instead of your regular wage earnings. The compensation rate is calculated off of your past earnings with that employer, based on your gross earnings, called your “Average Weekly Wage”.
If you suffered a work injury and require some medical treatment, but are capable of still working your pre-injury job, then you will probably receive “Medical Only” benefits. These can come in the form of “Temporary Medical Only” benefits or “Medical Only” benefits that will continue until a Judge orders them to be stopped or you settle your case. If you receive a Notice of Temporary Compensation Payable, medical only, then these benefits will stop after a period of ninety (90) days from the date of the Notice.
Likewise, if the workers’ compensation carrier has agreed to pay you wage loss benefits and medical benefits, this can also be either through the Notice of Temporary Compensation Payable or a regular Notice of Compensation Payable. If the wages are to be paid temporarily, then they will stop after ninety (90) days from the date of the Notice. There is a possible exception to this however which is to your advantage; if the workers’ compensation adjustor fails to issue a Notice Stopping the Temporary Compensation Payable and a Denial of your claim, then the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation will issue a “Notice of Conversion” which will automatically turn the “Temporary Notice of Compensation Payable” into a regular “Notice of Compensation Payable”.
Temporary total disability benefits, also referred to as TTD benefits are wage loss benefits that are paid if you are out of work altogether. These benefits start one week from your last date of work due to the work injury and can last until a workers’ compensation judge determines that your wage loss benefits be modified, suspended, or terminated; or if you settle your workers’ compensation case.
Permanent partial disability benefits, referred to as PPD benefits are wage loss benefits that are paid if you return to work at fewer hours or less pay post-injury. The PPD is paid to make up the difference between your pre-injury and post-injury wages. PPD benefits can only last for a 500 week period, but rarely are paid for this long.
Regardless of whether you receive either temporary total disability benefits or permanent partial disability benefits, your employer and their workers’ compensation carrier will attempt to stop your benefits in some fashion. The first step for them to take in this process is to send you to an Independent Medical Evaluation, referred to as an IME with a doctor of their choosing for a (1) one-time examination to assess your current condition after your work injury. After the examination, this doctor will then write a report and send it to the workers’ compensation carrier with his/her opinion as to your medical status and capability of working. Many times, these reports are in the favor of the employer/workers’ compensation carrier, indicating that you can return to some type of work, or that you are fully recovered from your work injury. If this happens, the workers’ compensation carrier and your employer will take steps to stop your workers’ compensation benefits.
If you are currently receiving workers’ compensation benefits and receive a Notice for Independent Medical Examination (IME), or any Petition to attempt to stop your benefits, feel free to call Paula Robinson at 215.530.7166 to discuss your case.