Am I eligible for temporary disability benefits? – IV

Nov 26 2016

As we’ve discussed in a series on ongoing posts, Colorado workers who miss more than three workdays or three shifts are entitled to wage replacement, or, as it is otherwise known, temporary disability benefits under state law.

In the preceding posts, we’ve been discussing temporary total disability benefits, which are available to those workers left completely disabled for a relatively short amount of time. In today’s post, we’ll continue this discussion of temporary disability benefits, but shift the focus to what are known as temporary partial disability — or TPD — benefits.

What are TPD benefits?

A worker is eligible for TPD benefits if they are unable to return to their regular full-time position due to their injury, but can still perform modified duties with reduced hours or reduced wages.

How are TPD benefits calculated?

When a person receives TPD benefits, they will essentially be receiving two-thirds of (i.e., 66 percent) of the difference between their average weekly wage at the time of their work injury and their part-time wages, subject to a maximum established by state law.

How long do TPD benefits typically last?

TPD benefits will continue until any of the following occurs:

  • The injured worker returns to their full-time position at their pre-injury wages.
  • The injured worker is provided with a written release from their authorized treating physician approving their return to modified work, their employer makes a written offer of this kind of work, and this work is either begun or refused.
  • The injured worker’s authorized treating physician has determined that they have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), meaning their underlying illness/injury has stabilized such that it won’t improve with further medical treatment.

Much like TTD benefits, it should be understood that regarding the offer to return to modified work that the injured worker is only entitled to one written notice. In addition, the injured worker has a minimum of 24 hours to consider offers of work, not including legal holidays or weekends, while any refusal of such an offer may result in the cessation of TPD benefits.

This concludes our discussion of temporary disability benefits. If you have questions relating to this or any other work comp issue, please consider speaking with a skilled professional as soon as possible.