In 2015, there were over three million reported non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses across the public and private industries. Over half these injuries resulted in the injured employee missing at least eight days of work. For those employees, this missed work often meant reduced income and stress about medical bills. While many of the workers were able to recover fully and return to work after a period of time, the treatment and recovery period created many challenges. Fortunately, the workers’ compensation system offers benefits that can cover medical bills and provide wage replacement during this time. Temporary total disability is one of the top claims among injured workers. In fact, a 2013 study by the National Academy of Social Insurance stated that as many at 72 percent of wage compensation cases involved temporary total disability benefits.
What Is Temporary Total Disability in Ohio?
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) defines temporary total disability as “the temporary inability of the injured worker to return to his former position of employment.” This means that the injury sustained prevents the employee from being able to work at all. These benefits can also apply if the employee can work under modified conditions, but the employer is unable to provide those conditions. Temporary total benefits, then, are paid to a worker who experiences this type of injury. These benefits include:
- Payment for medical expenses related to the injury
- Wage replacement
- Assistance in developing an effective plan to return to work
What to Expect From Temporary Total Benefits
Temporary total benefits pay for medical expenses related to the work injury regardless of how much work is missed. Associated medical costs can include coverage for hospital stays, surgery, medications, rehabilitation, transportation, and more.
Wage replacement is determined slight differently, however. Compensation commences depending on how much work is missed. In Ohio, payment follows a set schedule of missed days:
- 7 or fewer days – No compensation to replace lost income is offered.
- 8 – 14 days – Payment will start on the eighth day of missed work, and the injured worker will receive compensation for each day missed. No payment is offered for the first seven missed days.
- More than 14 days – Payment again starts on the eighth day of missed work and covers each day. If more than 14 days are lost, the injured worker will also be compensated for the initial seven missed days.
How Much Compensation Is Offered in Temporary Total Benefits?
Compensation varies from case to case. The actual amount of compensation is based on a number of factors, and it can change over time. In general, an injured worker will receive a percentage of his full weekly wage ranging from 66 percent and 72 percent, with the injured worker receiving more compensation during the period of time just after the injury. This amount is also subject to state maximums.
Additionally, in some cases, injured workers can receive living maintenance compensation and social security benefits in addition to their temporary total compensation. Every case is unique, and an experienced Ohio workers’ compensation attorney can help an injured worker understand his rights and pursue the maximum amount of available compensation.
Termination of Temporary Total Compensation in Ohio
There are many ways an employee would become ineligible for temporary total compensation. As the name implies, this compensation is not meant to be a permanent source of income, and can end when the injured worker meets any of the following criteria:
- Returns to work
- Has reached maximum medical improvement
- Works for another employer during the disability period
- Voluntarily leaves the employment of the employer
- Is cleared by a physician to return to his previous employment
- Is incarcerated
- Is offered work within his physical capabilities by the employer
When a work injury leaves an employee unable to perform his job duties for a period of time, that employee and his family can obtain workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can ensure an injured worker both gets the care he needs and can continue to meet his financial obligations. If you or someone you love has suffered a work injury, you may be eligible for these benefits, and the experienced legal team at the Monast Law Office may be able to help. Take a moment to fill out our online contact form, and you will receive a prompt response from a member of our team to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.