TTD in workers’ compensation stands for Temporary Total Disability. It means that a worker is injured on the job and cannot return to work or do any type of work but is expected to recover soon. A common example of this is when a worker broke a bone or needs surgery. If they are eligible for workers comp, they may be able to receive TTD benefits.
For the sake of workers comp benefit computation, work-related disabilities are usually classified into four:
- temporary total disability (TTD)
- temporary partial disability (TPD)
- permanent partial disability (PPD)
- permanent total disability (PTD)
These classifications are mainly used to determine lost wages compensation. It will determine how much lost wages replacement you’re entitled to and how long you’re getting it. In most cases, it won’t have any effect on your medical benefits.
To get a better idea of how they work, let’s first understand how they differ.
Permanent Disability vs. Temporary Disability
This is pretty much self-explanatory. A temporary disability is when an injured worker is expected to fully recover from their injuries. While in permanent disabilities, a full recovery cannot be expected or is virtually impossible.
For example, amputations are usually classified as permanent since it renders a person fully or partly disabled for life. While burns and lacerations are often considered temporary since a person can recover from them.
As a rule of thumb, temporary disability benefits are awarded if you have not yet reached MMI. Once you do, your doctor will review if you’ll qualify for permanent disability benefits.
Total Disability vs. Partial Disability
If your injury renders you incapable of doing your job or any other type of work, then it’s a total disability. But if you can still do other types of jobs, then you can only qualify for partial disability benefits.
If an employee can return to work but earns less than what they were earning before the accident, they’re also eligible for partial disability payments.
What Counts as Temporary Total Disability?
As mentioned, temporary total disability refers to conditions that are temporary in nature but renders the injured unable to do any type of work. Since workers comp laws vary per state and the severity of injuries can vary for each person, only your treating doctor can determine whether or not your condition qualifies as TTD.
But as a general rule of thumb, it can only be considered a temporary total disability if:
- it’s severe enough to make any type of work virtually impossible
- there is an available cure for your condition
- you are expected to recover after proper medical treatments
- you can be retrained for another type of job (in case you can’t go back to your old job)
Some of the most common examples of temporary total disability are:
- severe cuts and lacerations
- head injuries
- temporary blindness
- back sprains, strains, and tears
Depending on the circumstances, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may also be considered as a temporary total disability.
How Much TTD Payment Can You Expect?
Workers comp laws vary per state. As such, computation for temporary total disability benefits also tends to vary. But in general, it will depend on your average weekly earnings from before your injury.
In Florida, TTD payments are 66.67% of your average weekly wage before you got injured. So if you are receiving $1,000 a week on average, you’re entitled to $666.70 weekly TTD payments. But the state imposes a maximum amount that differs every year. For 2021, the maximum compensation amount is $1,011. So even if you’re entitled to a TTD benefit of $2,000 a week, you’ll only receive the maximum amount. You can use this TTD benefit calculator to get an estimate of how much you’re entitled to.
Florida statutes also provided that you shall be paid TTD benefits equal to 80% of your average weekly wage if:
- you’ve lost an arm, leg, hand, or foot
- you’ve been rendered paraplegic, paraparetic, quadriplegic, or quadriparetic
- you’ve lost sight in both eyes
The statutes also provide that you will only be paid for the first seven days of your disability if your absence from work extends to 21 days or more. Aside from lost wages, your employer or insurance company should also pay for any related medical or treatment costs. Your first benefit check should arrive within 21 days after reporting your injury to your employer.
Are TTD Payments Taxed?
In general, workers’ comp benefits are not taxable in both state and federal levels. It doesn’t matter whether they’re permanent or temporary or partial or total. As long as they are part of your workers comp payment or settlement, you won’t have to pay any taxes. This is according to the IRS‘ pronouncement that states:
Amounts you receive as workers’ compensation for an occupational sickness or injury are fully exempt from tax if they’re paid under a workers’ compensation act or a statute in the nature of a workers’ compensation act.
However, if you are receiving Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) on top of your worker’s comp benefits, then you may have to pay taxes on a portion of your workers’ comp.
To make sure that these benefits are not taken advantage of, the law sets a threshold on how much total benefits you can only receive. In Florida, your combined workers’ comp and social security disability benefits should not exceed 80% of your earnings before you got injured. If it does, the excess will be included in your taxable income. But in most cases, the amount is so negligible that it doesn’t really affect your total tax due.
When you return to work, your earnings are also taxable even if you continue to receive TTD benefits.
What is the Difference Between TTD and TPD?
As mentioned, TTD is for employees who cannot do any type of work. Temporary partial disability (TPD), on the other hand, is for injured workers who can still work but are earning less than their pre-injury wage.
For instance, a worker who underwent major surgery and has to stay in the hospital for weeks may be entitled to TTD benefits. But a worker who hurt his leg may still work in jobs that do not require moving or standing. Thus, they can only claim TPD benefits.
How Long Will You Receive TTD Payments?
TTD payments usually last until you return to work or reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). This is the point when you cannot get any better than you already are. In Florida, you used to only be able to receive temporary disability payments for up to 104 weeks but a 2016 ruling extended it to 260 weeks or 5 years. So even if you haven’t reached MMI after 104 weeks, as long as you’re not back at work, your TTD payments will not stop.
Aside from returning to work or reaching MMI, your TTD benefits will also stop if:
- you refuse to work even if the doctor says you’re fully recovered
- you refuse to work for reasons other than your injury
- you refuse a work offer even with an approved rehabilitation plan
- any other grounds for suspension or discontinuation of benefits as provided in the state’s workers comp law
What Happens When You Return to Work?
As mentioned, returning to work also means saying goodbye to your TTD benefit payments. It doesn’t matter whether you’re back at your old job or working on a new job, your TTD benefits will stop. But this isn’t always the case.
If you are returning to work with light-duty restrictions or are earning less than what you used to earn, your TTD payments may continue. Having light duty restrictions means that your employer should only put you in jobs that are not physically demanding. What counts as “physically demanding” usually varies depending on the nature of your injury.
If there are no available light-duty tasks at your workplace, you can continue receiving your TTD benefits. Once a light-duty job becomes available and you go back to work, you may still be entitled to a portion of your workers’ comp benefits if your earnings are less than 80% of your income before your injury.
VICTOR MALCA LAW – A TRUSTED NAME IN FLORIDA
Victor Malca P.A. has over 25 years of litigation experience in Workers Compensation and Social Security Disability lawsuits. His experience and continued success in fighting for his clients puts among the most trusted workers’ compensation lawyers in Florida. Our area of expertise is in representing injured workers on compensation benefit cases and disabled individuals claim social security disability benefits.
Our unwavering advocacy for employee rights and privileges are recognized by our past clients across South Florida. Book a free consultation today.
About The Author
Judy Ponio is a writer for Victor Malca Law P.A. and enjoys helping people with questions about social security, workers compensation, and other serious matters involving people’s livelihood. She is not an attorney and her writing should not be considered legal advice.