Work injuries can prevent people from performing all the necessary tasks of their job. Hopefully a person can fully recover from their injury and return to their pre-injury position, but sometimes injuries cause permanent damage and you can’t be as productive an employee as you were before. Ideally your company would find ways to shift responsibilities so you can keep your position and still have room for advancement, but unfortunately this isn’t always the case.
In some instances, employees are reassigned to a different position, demoted to a lesser role, or they are released from their position because they cannot perform all the necessary roles. A qualified rehabilitation consultant can help you find employment or a new role in your current company after a work injury, but what happens if you’re making less money now than you were before the injury?
This is a question that has come up with some of our previous clients, and Minnesota has some regulations in place to partially offset some of the loss in wages as a result of your injury. This is in the form of Temporary Partial Disability, or TPD.
Temporary Partial Disability Benefits in Minnesota
As we mentioned above, TPD offers a wage-loss benefit to employees who are back to work but earning less money than they were before the work injury. TPD is payable at two-thirds of the difference between what the employee earned at the time of the injury and what they are currently making.
For example, let’s say you were making $30/hour at your job when you got injured. After your injury, you were forced to find a new job, and you found employment making $24/hour. That’s a $6 an hour difference. You would be able to collect two-thirds of the difference between wages, meaning you could collect benefits equating to an additional $4 per hour. However, the difference is paid based on your weekly gross income. So if you were bringing in $1,000 a week and now you’re bringing home $700 a week, you could file for TPD benefits that would pay you an additional $200 a week. So while it doesn’t fully offset the loss in wages, you can see how it would certainly help prevent a large setback in income due to a work injury.
TPD Wage Loss Benefits
Here are some more facts about the TPD wage loss benefits:
- The benefits are only payable if you are employed.
- TPD benefits can be paid at the same time as permanent partial disability benefits.
- TPD benefits are limited to 225 weeks of paid benefits or 450 weeks after the date of initial injury, whichever comes first.
- TPD benefits can be reduced if your current wage plus TPD earnings exceeds 500 percent of the statewide average weekly income.
- If your wages vary each week, like servers, bartenders, cab drivers, etc., the insurance company may require weekly wage verification prior to paying TPD. TPD benefits must be paid within 10 days of an employee or employer submitting wage verification to the insurer.
TPD benefits are crucial if you lose wages after a work accident, but filing for them must be done in a correct and timely manner. Failure to do so can result in the loss of benefits. To ensure you get the benefits you’re entitled to, speak to a Minnesota workers’ compensation attorney today.
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