In short, indemnity benefits are monetary payments you may be entitled to receive as compensation for lost wages or damages related to your workers’ compensation claim. There are different categories of benefits that injured workers are entitled to depending on the severity of their injury, and their position in the recovery process. These benefits include Temporary Total Disability, Temporary Partial Disability, Permanent Total Disability, and Permanent Partial Disability.
What benefits am I entitled to and how much will I get paid?
Temporary Total Disability: For temporary total disability (TTD), an injured worker is entitled to receive TTD compensation if they are completely unable to work due to their work injury. TTD benefits are payable at 66% of their gross earnings at the time of their injury. However, benefit amounts are subject to statutory maximums and minimums. The injured worker will remain eligible for this benefit until one of the following occurs:
- A return to work in some capacity.
- A withdrawal from the labor market (if cleared to return to work).
- They have been paid 130-weeks of TTD benefits (for injuries on or after 10/1/2008).
- The refusal of a gainful work offer approved by a rehabilitation plan.
- 90-days after Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) has been reached.
Temporary Partial Disability: For temporary partial disability (TPD), an injured worker is entitled to receive TPD compensation when they are working, but are earning less than their pre-injury weekly wage because of the work injury. TPD compensation is payable to you at 66-2/3 of the difference between your weekly wage at the time of the injury and the wages you are currently able to earn while disabled. Like TTD compensation, TPD compensation is subject to the statutory maximum; however, TPD compensation is not subject to the statutory minimum. You remain eligible for this benefit until one of the following occurs:
- You withdraw from the labor market.
- You are released to return to work without restrictions.
- You have been paid 275-weeks of TPD benefits (for injuries on/after 10/1/2018).
- More than 450-weeks have elapsed since the injury date.
- You become eligible for reinstatement of TTD benefits (i.e. surgery)
Permanent Total Disability: For permanent total disability (PTD), an injured worker must show that they are completely unable to return to ANY gainful employment. PTD benefits are payable at 66% of your income at the injury date. As with TTD compensation, PTD benefits are subject to statutory maximums and minimums. Once the insurance company has paid you $25,000.00 in PTD compensation, your benefit amount will be reduced by the total amount of disability benefits being paid to you by other disability programs. You remain eligible to receive this benefit until one of the following occurs:
- You reach the presumed retirement age.
- You can work more than “sporadic” employment as defined under Stat. 176.101 Subd. 5.
Permanent Partial Disability: Unlike the other indemnity benefits, permanent partial disability (PPD) is not a wage replacement benefit. PPD benefits are payable to you for permanent functional loss of use of a particular body part or permanent anatomical changes. Most body parts are assigned a percentage under the Minnesota PPD schedule and cannot exceed 100% of the whole body. The PPD rating, or percentage, is multiplied by a specific dollar amount to determine the amount of compensation you are due.
Indemnity Benefits and PTSD:
PTSD, as diagnosed by a licensed psychologist under the DSM-V, is a compensable injury in the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation system. The issue falls in trying to prove the injury is accurate and work-related. There are certain professions, namely first responders and medical professionals, who have a presumption that, if diagnosed with PTSD, it is related to their work activities. However, presumption or not, insurers often deny these claims which can cause the injured party to feel like they have nowhere left to turn. It is important that if you or someone you know suffers from work-related PTSD, consult with an attorney experienced in this area of law.
At Meuser, Yackley & Rowland, P.A., we have represented many clients with PTSD, including police officers, firefighters, first responders, and correctional officers. We understand this nuanced area of the law and work with our clients to ensure they receive the full benefits to which they are entitled. Contact Meuser, Yackley & Rowland, P.A. for a no-obligation, confidential consultation today. Don’t let the insurance company unfairly deny you benefits.