For instance, if you’ve improved to the point where you can stand and walk, but no more than 2 hours per day and can lift no more than 10 pounds per day, there are some questions that must be answered. (1) Are you still an employee of the insured Employer? (2) Does your Employer have light duty work available for you to perform that is within the light duty restrictions assigned by your authorized treating physician? (3) Did your insured Employer make you aware of the light duty work that is available? (4) Did the claimant return to work and perform the work made available? (5) If you did return to work, how much did you earn in wages? Without getting into the mathematics of it all, depending on the answers to those questions, you may be entitled to temporary partial disability benefit (TPD).
Once you’ve reached a point where there is no further recovery or improvement from the injury or disease in question, you may be placed on what is called maximum medical improvement (MMI). Once MMI has been established, you are no longer entitled to receive TTD or TPD. However, when MMI is established, you may be assigned a permanent impairment rating (PIR). The PIR is the percentage of your body as a whole that is permanently partially impaired and is shown as a percentage (for example, you may be told you have 4% permanent impairment rating). Depending on the percentage assigned, impairment income benefits (IIBs) may be owed to you.
In the rare instance that you are unable to return to at least some, seated employment within a 50 mile radius of your home, permanent total disability benefits (PTD) may be owed. These lost wages are paid out at the same rate of TTD, but would continue until you reach 75 years of age, under most circumstances. In addition, if entitled to PTD benefits, you would also be entitled to what is known as PTD supplemental benefits, which essentially provide an increase to cover the cost of living increase from year to year.