Workers’ compensation is designed to provide support for employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses, and one of the key distinctions in these cases is the determination between temporary and permanent benefits. New York workers’ compensation law provides a framework for assessing the extent of an injured worker’s disability and offering compensation accordingly.
Temporary benefits are awarded to injured employees during the period they are unable to work due to a work-related injury or illness. These benefits are meant to serve as a financial safety net until the injured worker can return to their job or reach a point where their medical condition stabilizes.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD): If a worker is entirely unable to perform any work for a certain amount of time, they may be eligible for TTD benefits, which typically amount to two-thirds of their average weekly wage, subject to statutory maximums.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD): In cases where an employee can work but earns less due to restrictions or modified duties, TPD benefits may be available. The compensation is usually two-thirds of the difference between the pre-injury wage and the reduced earning capacity.
When a worker reaches maximum medical improvement (MMI) or a stable medical condition after treatment but still has permanent impairments, they may be entitled to permanent benefits. These benefits are meant to compensate for the lasting impact of the injury or illness.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): PPD benefits are provided when an injured worker has permanent impairments but can still work. The amount of compensation is determined based on the extent of the impairment and the part of the body affected.
Permanent Total Disability (PTD): If a worker’s injury renders them unable to perform any gainful employment, they may qualify for PTD benefits, which continue for the rest of their life.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that healthcare for your injury is a valuable lifelong entitlement. Unless you’ve executed a waiver, like a Section 32 waiver agreement during a settlement, you maintain your eligibility for medical care for your workplace injury or illness, even after your return to work. Additionally, you have the opportunity to request compensation for travel expenses related to medical visits and any out-of-pocket payments for associated medical expenses, such as prescription medications.
Key Factors in Determining Benefits
The allocation of temporary or permanent benefits depends on several key factors.
Medical Evaluation: Medical assessments play a crucial role in determining the nature and extent of an injury, which impacts the benefits awarded.
MMI Assessment: When an injured worker reaches MMI, maximum medical improvement, a healthcare provider assesses whether their condition has stabilized or if further improvement is unlikely.
Impairment Rating: In the case of permanent benefits, an impairment rating is assigned to the injured worker, which affects the amount of compensation they receive.
Understanding the distinction between temporary and permanent benefits is vital for both injured employees and employers in New York. Navigating the workers’ compensation system can be complex, and seeking legal counsel from experienced workers’ compensation attorneys is often essential to ensure that injured workers receive the compensation they deserve. Our team at EMD works on a contingency fee basis for all workers’ compensation cases, ensuring that you won’t have to worry about upfront legal fees. Our experienced attorneys are here to fight for the compensation you deserve. Request your free consultation today.