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How long do temporary disability benefits for work injuries last?

When an injured worker suffers an illness or injury on the job, they are eligible to receive financial support if they temporarily cannot work. These are called  temporary  disability (TTD) benefits, and if you miss at least seven days of work you are entitled to collect them.

TTD benefits cover 70 percent of a person's average weekly wages up to the maximum allowable  for the year of the injury.  For example, in 2019, the maximum allowable weekly benefit is $903 per week. Benefits should last until one of the following three events take place:

  1. You reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). The term MMI means that doctors do not expect your condition to get any better or any worse. 
  2. You are medically cleared to return to light duty work. Doctors can clear you to return to light duty when you are still receiving medical treatment. If this occurs and your employer does not offer light duty, then you are entitled to temporary disability benefits.
  3. It has been 400 weeks. Temporary benefits cannot last more than 400 weeks, which is just over seven-and-a-half years.

Potential Disputes 

Injured workers do not always agree with the decisions of their doctors or employers. Clashes can occur when a doctor claims a patient has reached MMI or is sent back to light duty if an employee is still suffering from a great deal of pain.  Another cause for disagreement arises when an employer does not abide by the doctor's recommendation for light duty work.

These situations are stressful because an injured worker can be fearful about prematurely losing benefits, losing a job, or putting their health in danger.

If you have concerns about unfairly losing your benefits, then talk to an attorney immediately; you have rights and benefits worth protecting. 

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