Part of workers’ compensation is the coverage you get when you lose time at work due to an injury. Temporary total disability, abbreviated as TTD, helps cover some of your lost income. The amount and duration depend on how long you are out of work and how much you would normally earn.
But how does it all work? Here, we’ll go over the process of obtaining and calculating TTD benefits.
First, before you can obtain disability benefits, you must be able to show that you are unable to work. This means a trip to the doctor and getting that declaration in writing. You are able to receive TTD if one of the following applies:
- Your doctor declares you unable to work due to the injury, or;
- Your doctor places restrictions on what you are able to do, and your employer cannot accommodate those restrictions.
If your doctor gives you restrictions on the type of work you can perform, you cannot receive TTD if your employer can accommodate you. In those cases, it’s best to keep going to work since you could still get compensation for other items, such as medical expenses and wage differential. Also, if you refuse to work in that instance, it could jeopardize your claim.
Once you are declared unable to work (or your employer cannot accommodate your doctor’s recommendations), you will receive TTD benefits for each day you miss work minus the first three (more on that below).
The amount you receive from TTD is based on the amount you earn. The official calculation is 2/3 of what you earned on average for the previous 52 weeks before your injury. That seems simple enough, but it can get complicated as you factor different situations in.
For instance, if you haven’t been working with your current employer for 52 weeks (a full year), then the amount is based on what you have been earning so far or on what someone would normally have earned in your position.
Also, if your employer was aware that you were working two jobs, the amount you would earn from that job could also be included in the calculations. In some cases, overtime can be factored in, but only if it was mandatory.
Timing and Duration
Under Illinois workers’ compensation law, you begin receiving TTD benefits on the fourth missed day. After you miss 14 days, you get paid for the first three as well. Temporary total disability will count by calendar days, not business days, so if you normally have weekends off, you could still count those toward those first three days.
As for duration, TTD benefits are intended to be temporary (naturally), but they are also supposed to last as long as you are recovering. Until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI), you can continue receiving TTD, even if you happen to leave the job where you were injured during that time. Even if your employer fires you, they can’t deny you benefits if you’re still recovering.
In some cases, the insurance company may try to limit the amount you receive or deny you coverage altogether. In those cases, contact a workers’ compensation attorney to review your case and represent you.