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Should the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Company Be Paying Me Temporary Partial Disability Benefits?

Temporary partial disability benefits should be paid when you are back at work but making less money than you did before your on the job injury.  This article explains when temporary partial disability benefits are owed and how the amount of temporary partial disability benefits is calculated.

Situations Where Temporary Partial Disability Benefits Should Be Paid

After an injury, you may return to work making less money than you did before you got hurt.  Several different factors can cause this to happen.  The two most common ways that your injury can cause you to make less money are:

  • Your doctor restricts the number of hours you can work as a result of your injury
  • Your doctor places restrictions on you and those restrictions force you to take a job that pays less per hour

When you are back at work but making less money because of your injury, your employer or their workers’ compensation insurance company should pay you temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits on a weekly basis.  These benefits are the way that you are compensated for your partial wage loss.

Understanding the law will help you correctly determine the amount of your temporary partial disability benefits

Amount of Temporary Partial Disability You Should Receive

So, how much temporary partial disability will you receive? In order to calculate this, you will need to compare your wages after returning to work (your post injury wage) to your average weekly wage in your workers’ compensation claim (your preinjury wage).

The temporary partial disability benefits will be two-thirds of the difference between these two numbers (subject to a maximum of $450 per week if your date of injury is after July 1, 2019 or a lesser maximum rate if your injury is before then).

Let’s look at an example.  Assume you had an average weekly wage at the time of your work injury of $700 per week (preinjury wage).  Also assume that you earned $400 per week when you returned to a lower paying light duty job after your injury (post injury wage).

Since the difference in your preinjury wage and your postinjury wage is $300 per week, you should receive temporary partial disability of two-thirds of that $300 difference.  Since two-thirds of $300 is $200, you would receive $200 per week in temporary partial disability benefits in this example.

How often does the insurance company pay Temporary Partial Disability benefits?

Temporary partial disability benefits can be especially confusing because the amounts can change each week.  They can also be confusing because State Board Rule 262 give your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance company the choice of two different ways to determine the amount of temporary partial disability you are due per week:

  • Week by week
  • Every thirteen weeks

Regardless of which method your employer chooses, they should still pay you temporary partial disability benefits on a weekly basis.  The only difference between the two methods is whether they recalculate the amount each week or every thirteen weeks.

Some employers and insurance companies screw this part up and do not pay you weekly.  Others use the thirteen week method and pay you weekly but do not adjust for any underpayment or overpayment at the end of each thirteen week period.  You need to be diligent to make sure the insurance company pays temporary partial disability correctly.

Time limits on temporary partial disability benefits

Generally, you receive temporary partial disability benefits when you can work but are making less money because of your injury.  However, Georgia law does limit how long you can receive these benefits.

You can only receive temporary partial disability benefits for 350 weeks after your date of injury.  This may seem like more than enough time.  It is for most injuries.

But serious injuries that cause permanent restrictions often make it very difficult to return to work.  In these situations, 350 weeks may not be long enough.

Returning to work is one common reason that temporary total disability benefits are suspended

Other events cause temporary partial disability benefits to stop

One reason temporary partial disability benefits stop is a release to return to full duty work without restrictions.  If your authorized treating physician releases you without restrictions, the insurance company will be able to stop paying you temporary partial disability benefits.

There are other events that can cause your temporary partial disability benefits to stop as well.  If you get a raise, your earnings may increase.  This increase can reduce your temporary partial disability benefits or stop them.

Many insurance companies just do not pay temporary partial disability benefits correctly.  If you are back at work on light duty, I would recommend talking to an attorney to find out if the insurance company is paying what they should be.

Some people worry that it will cost a lot to talk to a workers’ compensation attorney.  I provide free consultations in workers’ compensation claims.  This consultation helps you decide if you need an attorney.

What if I have other questions about workers compensation?

Georgia’s workers compensation system can be very confusing.  You have to worry about getting the treatment you need and paying your bills while also worrying about not missing any deadlines that could cause you to lose your right to receive workers compensation benefits.

If you have questions, I would recommend that you try to get answers.  To find out more about how to schedule a time to talk to me about your workers compensation questions, just read this short article.

Jason Perkins is an attorney who specializes in representing injured workers.  He regularly publishes videos and write blog articles about Georgia’s workers compensation system and issues that are important to injured workers and their families.

To be notified of Jason’s new workers compensation videos, subscribe to his Georgia Workers Compensation Video Series channel on YouTube by clicking the subscribe button below.

Brittney-lee orourkeBrittney-lee orourke
05:23 18 Feb 22
Amazing! Jason and his team were very helpful and had the best communication by far. Walked me though every step with great detail and had answers for any question I had. They handled my case better then I could imagine, it was a weird case and they stayed on top of it and kept me updated every step of the way! Highly recommend this Team! Thanks so much to Jason and his Awesome team!-Brittney
China JonesChina Jones
18:58 08 Feb 22
I absolutely love this group of attorneys, when I was at my lowest they did everything they could to help me get justice for my injury. I believe if I were to have never picked my phone up and called the amazing group that helped me I definitely would not have received my idea of rights. If you have an issue and are just not sure please understand that they will help you, stay in contact, answer any question you have, and for sure get you the justice you deserve I thank them from the bottom of my heart and I will definitely refer them to anyone who has been hurt because they most definitely care about their work and clients.
Luv LocsLuv Locs
16:08 15 Jan 22
The entire law office was attentive and responsive to all of my concerns dealing with my workers compensation case.
21:14 02 Jan 22
If you must get a lawyer involved, you’d do well to work with Jason Perkins and his team at Perkins Studdard Law.They were thorough in gathering information and in sharing all the steps in the workers comp process specific to my case. Jason and the team were responsive to my bevy of questions and concerns.I appreciated the informative videos and consultations provided by Jason over video meetings and multiple phone calls.I hope I’m never injured on the job again. However, if I am and if my employer responds as my previous employer did, I’ll contact Perkins Studdard Law immediately to handle the case.
Dana BessDana Bess
23:57 10 Dec 21
Everyone at Perkins Studdard was kind and professional. They were always extremely responsive and answered all questions that I had and followed up to make sure I had an understanding of what was going on along with emailing videos to explain every step of my case so I would know what to expect and be prepared. Jason is a very genuine person and I trusted him with my case. He answered so many questions for me even before I retained him as my WC lawyer. I highly recommend him and his associates at Perkins Studdard.

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