To offer a different perspective on the subject of indemnity benefits, we turned to our Legal Analyst with the firm, Vanessa Washington. Vanessa has extensive experience in the insurance industry with a focus on workers’ compensation. Vanessa’s primary role with Meuser, Yackley & Rowland, P.A. is to support the attorneys by analyzing the value of each case, providing case law research, and facilitating negotiations.
Indemnity benefits are monetary payments you may be entitled to receive as compensation for lost wages or damages related to your workers’ compensation claim.
What “indemnity” benefits will I receive and how much will I get paid?
Temporary Total Disability (TTD): You are entitled to receive TTD compensation if you are totally unable to work due to your work injury. TTD benefits are payable at 66-2/3 of your gross earnings at the time of your injury but are subject to statutory maximums and minimums. You remain eligible for this benefit until one of the following occurs:
- You return to work.
- You withdraw from the labor market.
- You have been paid 130-weeks of TTD benefits (for injuries on or after 10/1/2008).
- You refuse a gainful work offer approved by rehabilitation plan.
- 90-days after Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) has been reached.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD): You are entitled to receive TPD compensation when you are working but are earning less than your weekly wage because of the work injury. A few examples of situations that may qualify you for this benefit include but are not limited to: you are working reduced hours due to your work restrictions, you are working in a “light-duty” position at an hourly rate lower than your hourly rate on the date of injury, or you are unable to work overtime you would otherwise be working due to your restrictions.
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 become eligible for reinstatement of TTD benefits (i.e. surgery, employer can no longer accommodate, etc.).
- 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 lapsed since your date injury.
Permanent Total Disability (PTD): You are entitled to receive PTD compensation if you completely unable to return to gainful employment. PTD benefits are payable at 66-2/3 of your gross earnings at the tine of your injury. As with TTD compensation, PTD compensation is 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 amount of disability benefits being paid to you by certain government disability programs. You remain eligible to receive this benefit until one of the following occurs:
- You reach the presumed retirement age pursuant to statute.
- You are able to work more than “sporadic employment” as defined under Stat. 176.101 Subd. 5.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): Unlike the other indemnity benefits, 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 (i.e. meniscus repair, total knee replacement, etc.). Most body parts are assigned a percentage under the Minnesota PPD schedule. The total percentage of PPD 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. There is a strong potential the adjuster may wait until you’re further along in your recovery before they request a PPD opinion from your medical provider(s). However, it is important to understand that you may be due an “ascertainable” rating much sooner in your recovery process.
When will I begin receiving my benefits?
Temporary Total Disability (TTD) and/or Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) is subject to a 3-calendar day waiting period after disability commences. It is important to understand that the waiting period will become payable to you only when your disability continues for 10-calendar days or longer. The initial payment of wage loss benefits is due within 14-days of your disability commences. In cases of TTD compensation, ongoing payment should continue on a scheduled basis until you are no longer entitled to receive this benefit type. In cases of TPD compensation, you will need to provide the insurer verification of your earnings for TPD compensation. The sooner you submit your paystubs, the sooner you will get paid. TPD compensation beyond the initial commencement of benefits is required to be issued to you no later than 10-calendar days after the insurer receives your verification of earnings.
Permanent Total Disability (PTD) compensation, like TTD, should continue on a scheduled basis until or unless you are no longer eligible to receive this benefit.
You are entitled to begin receiving PPD compensation when you are no longer receiving TTD compensation. You may, however, receive PPD compensation concurrently with TPD or PTD compensation. You will receive your PPD compensation in scheduled installments until or unless you request your PPD compensation as a lump sum benefit. If you request a lump sum benefit, the insurance company is required to pay the balance within 30-days. The lump sum payment is subject to a present value reduction of no more than 5%. Though a final rating isn’t required until further along in your recovery process, there are situations such as anatomical loss that require the insurance company issue minimum PPD rating. In these situations, the insurance company is responsible for issuing an initial PPD benefits to you when they are aware you are due the funds and are eligible to receive the same (i.e. no longer receiving TTD compensation).
If you need further explanation of the benefits you may be entitled to receive or you feel the insurer may not be paying you correctly, a member of our experienced work comp team would be happy to meet with you. Contact Meuser, Yackley & Rowland, P.A. at 1-877-746-5680 for a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation.