Wage Loss Benefits
If you get hurt at work in Minnesota, and your injury prevents you from working or reduces how much money you can earn, you may be entitled to receive payment for your lost wages. The amount and type of wage loss benefits you can receive depends on your salary, how much your injury affects you, and how long your ability to work is impaired.
Determining the type of benefits you should seek and calculating the amount of wages you may receive can be a complex process, but you don’t have to do it alone. Fields Law Firm is one of the largest and most respected work injury law firms in Minnesota, and our team of experienced workers’ compensation attorneys helps injured workers across the state claim lost wages every day.
Types of Lost Wage Benefits
In Minnesota, there are four types of wage loss benefits. The kind you are eligible to receive depends on whether your disability is partial, total, temporary, or permanent.
- Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (TPD)
You may qualify for TPD benefits if you return to work but can’t work as many hours or earn the same amount you did before your accident. These benefits can only be claimed for a limited amount of time.
- Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD)
If you can’t work at all after suffering an on-the-job injury, but are expected to return to work at some point, you may be eligible for TTD benefits. TTD benefits have a limit on how long you can claim them, however you may be able to receive TTD benefits for longer if you’re approved for a job retraining plan.
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD)
If your injury is expected to permanently reduce your earning potential, you may be able to claim PPD benefits to cover the difference between what you earned before and after your accident.
- Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTD)
If you will never be able to work again because of your injury, you may be eligible to receive PTD benefits to replace most of your lost wages.
You may be eligible to collect multiple types of wage loss benefits at the same time. Generally, total disability benefits pay two-thirds of the average weekly wages you earned before your accident. Partial disability benefits cover two-thirds of the difference between the wages you earned before your injury and what you earn after your injury.
How Does Workers’ Compensation Pay For Lost Wages?
If you are injured at work and cannot do your regular job in a full-time capacity, or any capacity, you may be entitled to wage loss benefits. In order to be eligible for wage loss benefits, you must have work restrictions from a doctor, limiting your ability to work as a result of your work injury. Common restrictions include limitations on your ability to lift, push, pull, carry, or stand.
There are four different types of wage loss benefits. The first is temporary total disability (TTD) benefits. If a doctor has taken you off work completely, or if your employer is unable to accommodate your work restrictions, you are entitled to temporary total disability benefits.
Temporary total disability benefits are limited to 66% of your average weekly wage at the time of your injury. You average weekly wage is usually determined by taking your gross wages in the 26 weeks prior to your injury and dividing by 26.
The maximum compensation rate is $850 per week for injuries prior to October 1, 2013 and 102% of the statewide average weekly wage (roughly $963.90) for injuries occurring after October 1, 2013. The minimum compensation rate is $130 per week, or your actual wage if it is lower than $130. The maximum number of weeks you can receive temporary total disability benefits is 130.
The second major type of wage loss benefit is temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits. If you are working fewer hours or are making less than your average weekly wage, you are entitled to temporary partial disability benefits. Temporary partial disability benefits are limited to 66% of the difference between your average weekly wage and what you’re earning currently. The maximum number of weeks you can earn temporary partial disability benefits is 225 weeks.
The third major type of wage loss benefit is permanent total disability (PTD) benefits. If you cannot work again in any capacity as a result of your injury, you are entitled to permanent total disability benefits. These benefits continue until age 67, or your presumed retirement age.
The benefits can be offset by Social Security disability benefits you are receiving, or PERA benefits. There are also certain minimum thresholds that must be met based on age and permanent loss of function before an application for permanent total disability benefits can be made.
The fourth type of wage loss benefit is permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits. You are entitled to these benefits if you have permanent loss of function or range of motion due to your work injury.
Minnesota has a set of rules and regulations assigning a percentage value depending on the loss of function. For example, if you lose a tooth, the applicable PPD rating is .5%, which has a value of $375. The ratings are multiplied by various dollar amounts in order to determine the correct value.
You are only entitled to a permanent partial disability rating after you have reached maximum medical improvement. A doctor must assign the permanent partial disability rating.
Recovering Your Lost Wages
How long you can collect wage loss benefits varies depending on a number of factors, including whether you receive partial, total, temporary, or permanent disability benefits, the date you return to work, and the date you are expected to reach maximum medical improvement.
Figuring out what type of benefits you should claim and how much you should receive can be daunting. At Fields Law Firm, we make it our job to take the stress off your shoulders so you can focus on getting better and getting back to work. Don’t wrestle with frustrating formulas – let us do it for you. Call today and get free advice on how to collect your lost wages.