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Reasons Why Temporary Disability Benefits Can Be Terminated in Your Workers’ Compensation Case

Employees who miss more than three days (or shifts) of work due to a work injury may qualify for wage loss benefits called temporary disability benefits.

Details of Temporary Disability

Typically, temporary disability will pay 66.67% of your regular salary up to a maximum amount allowable in the state of Colorado.

There are also two different types of temporary disability: temporary total disability (TTD) and temporary partial disability (TPD). You can receive TTD when you are completely disabled and not able to perform any tasks at work. You can receive TPD when you can return to work but cannot perform all of your normal tasks or have to work fewer hours due to your illness or injury.

When Does Temporary Disability End?

There are several different reasons why temporary disability benefits are terminated, but here are 6 of the most common reasons:

  1. You go back to work at the salary and hours you had before the illness or injury. However, if you return at a lower wage, you may still be eligible for TPD.

  2. Your approved physician clears you to return to work as normal. This often applies even if your job is no longer available.

  3. Your physician clears you to return to work with a modified set of tasks and/or modified schedule.

  4. You reach your maximum medical improvement (MMI), meaning your physician has determined that your condition is stable and you will not improve with more medical care.

  5. You miss a scheduled doctor’s appointment with your authorized treating physician after being notified that doing so will cause your benefits to be terminated.

  6. Your employer terminates you for something that you were at fault for unrelated to the injury or illness. There is debate surrounding this reason because some employers will find unsubstantiated reasons for terminating employees to avoid to paying for disability benefits.

What Do I Do Now?

If you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) and you aren’t able to fully recover from your illness or injury, you may be eligible for permanent partial disability (PPD) or permanent total disability (PTD). 

Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) defines PPD as “a permanent loss of function to a body part or body system (nervous system, respiratory system, digestive system, etc.).” To qualify for PPD, your authorized treating physician has to evaluate your condition and assign a percentage to your permanent injury. From there, you may fall into one of two categories: scheduled impairment or non-scheduled impairment.

If your illness or injury is so severe that you cannot work or collect any wages after you’ve reached your MMI, you may qualify for permanent total disability. In this case, you are paid a weekly amount based on the average wage for the rest of your life.

Working through disability benefits can be difficult, especially when you’re dealing with a debilitating illness or injury. Contact the committed team at The Babcock Law Firm today to let us help you get the benefits you need.

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