You may receive temporary total and permanent partial disability benefits after a work injury. Many people receive both of these benefits. Unfortunately, insurance companies do not always pay these benefits at the correct time or in the correct amounts.
Most people just want to receive whatever benefits they should. But, many people find it difficult to understand what benefits they should receive.
Temporary total and permanent partial disability benefits can cause a lot of confusion. This article will discuss the similarities and differences between temporary total and permanent partial disability benefits under Georgia’s workers compensation law.
I will not get into other benefits that Georgia law pays in this article. If you do want to know about those other benefits, I would recommend visiting the Workers Compensation Income and Medical Treatment Rights pages on our website. They have a number of articles about other Georgia workers compensation benefits.
What is the main difference between temporary total and permanent partial disability benefits?
The big difference between these two benefits is why you receive them. Temporary total disability benefits are wage loss benefits. The insurance company has to pay them when you cannot work because of your injury.
Permanent partial disability benefits compensate you for a different loss. You receive these benefits because your injury causes a permanent impairment to your body.
How are temporary total and permanent partial disability benefits alike?
There are two primary similarities between temporary total and permanent partial disability benefits.
The insurance company pays you these benefits weekly
Georgia workers’ compensation law requires the insurance company to pay both these benefits weekly. So, you should receive a weekly benefit check while you receive these benefits.
Occasionally, the insurance company will pay permanent partial disability benefits in a lump sum. When this happens, they really are just paying the weekly benefits in advance. So, they are just paying you a number of weeks of benefits at one time.
The amount of the weekly benefits is the same
In Georgia, the weekly check you receive for temporary total disability will be the same amount as your permanent partial disability benefit check. The amount you will receive depends on how much you made in the three months before your injury.
Using this amount, the insurance company should calculate your average weekly wage. Your temporary total disability and permanent partial disability checks are usually two-thirds of your average weekly wage.
How do I know what type of benefit I am receiving?
Because of these similarities, you may find it difficult to determine which type of benefit the insurance company is paying you. Here are some tips that may help you with that confusion.
Georgia law requires the insurance company to file a Form WC-1 or Form WC-2 saying the type of benefit. But, the insurance company does not always do this.
Your check may indicate the type of benefit. It may say something like “temporary total” or permanent partial”. It might also say “TTD” or “TT” (abbreviations for temporary total disability) or “PPD” or “PP” (abbreviations for permanent partial disability).
The check stub that comes with your check may also have information on it about the type of benefit paid by the insurance company.
If your doctor has you out of work because of your injury, the weekly benefit is probably temporary total disability. If your doctor gave you a permanent partial disability rating and you have returned to work, the benefit is probably permanent partial disability.
Can I receive temporary total and permanent partial disability benefits at the same time?
Georgia law almost never allows you to receive temporary total and permanent partial disability benefits at the same time. In fact, the insurance company does not have to pay you permanent partial disability benefits until you stop receiving temporary total and temporary partial disability benefits.
Occasionally, people do receive permanent partial and temporary total disability benefits at the same time. This happens when someone returns to work while receiving permanent partial disability benefits and then suffers another work injury.
Why does it matter which type of benefit I receive?
One reason you need to know is Georgia’s workers’ compensation statutes of limitations. These statutes provide deadlines for getting additional benefits. Missing these deadlines can cause you to lose most or all of your workers compensation benefits.
The change in condition statute of limitations only provide you two years to get additional temporary total disability and temporary partial disability benefits. This deadline runs from the last time you received temporary total or temporary partial disability benefits.
If you currently receive temporary total disability benefits, that two year deadline gets “extended” with each TTD check you receive. But, if you currently receive permanent partial disability benefits, those checks do not extend the two year deadline.