In Wisconsin workers comp benefits called TTD or temporary total disability benefits are paid an injured employee while he or she is in the healing period. The healing period is the time while an injured worker is both convalescing from the injury and submitting to active treatment; it is the time before the medical condition becomes stationary.
Temporary partial or total disability benefits pay the injured workers for his or her wage loss during the healing period. TTD benefits are available only for the time while the employee is within the healing period for the injury and sustains an actual wage loss. See Wis. Stat. § 102.43. Where the injured worker is working part-time due to work-related restrictions and the wage loss is partial, the TTD benefit may be reduced to temporary partial disability or TPD.
TTD benefits are 2/3 of the employee’s average weekly wage from the employer who he was working for when injured, subject to the maximum wage rates in effect based on the date of injury.
Even if a doctor returns the injured employee to work with limitations or light duty restrictions, the employee might remain entitled to temporary disability benefits if the employee is still in the healing period and the employer cannot or will not accommodate the restrictions.
If the employer is made aware of the injured worker’s light duty return to work, but cannot or does not make such work available, the injured worker remains entitled to workers comp benefits TTD until the end of the healing period or until work is offered within the employee’s limitations. The burden of proving light work exists is on the employer.
Sometimes, employers or their workers compensation insurance companies attempt to force an injured worker to work at a charity while in the healing period. Placement at a nonprofit charity is allowed if the employer cannot accommodate light duty restrictions; the charity has suitable work available within the employee’s physical and mental limitations; the employee is paid by the employer; and the worker’s compensation insurance carrier pays any remaining TTD benefits that may be due. Such placements are NOT allowed if the injured worker is only going to receive TTD benefits that are due. If only TTD is going to be received for charity work, the worker can refuse the work and the employee’s benefits cannot be suspended based on that refusal.
McCormick Law Office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin attorneys help calculate the correct TTD benefits payable based on solid wage evidence. The insurance company’s calculations are usually but not always trustworthy. TTD average weekly wage can be based on hourly pay or by dividing last year’s earnings by 52 weeks, whichever is higher.