What are Temporary Total Disability Benefits?

What are Temporary Total Disability Benefits? Image

The information below only applies to injuries occurring before February 1, 2014. 

You may receive Temporary Total Disability (TTD) TTD benefits if you have a work-related injury, but you expect to be able to go back to work. TTD is intended to replace part of your lost wages, with benefits based on a percentage of your usual wages.  The benefits are available to employees whose injuries leave them totally unable to work for a period of time. The benefits are no longer payable when the “temporary” disability clears and the employee is able to return to work.

If an injury from work makes it impossible to do your job for 7 calendar days or more, then you may be entitled to weekly TTD benefits.  Following an injury, for the first 7 days benefits are not paid unless the Court determines you were temporarily totally disabled for more than 21 days. In that event, TTD benefits are payable from the first day. TTD benefits may be distributed without a Court order.

The benefit amount is determined on a scale or percentage of wages.  If you are eligible for weekly benefits they may be set on a scale of up to 70% of your average weekly wage, up to the maximum set by law. The maximum is equal to the state’s average weekly wage.

Typically, how long benefits are paid for depends on the date and nature of the injury and when your healing period ends. You may receive TTD benefits for as long as you are unable to work, subject to certain limitations. Unless there is a consequential injury and the Court awards an additional 52 weeks of benefits the maximum duration of TTD benefits is 156 weeks.  TTD benefits for soft tissue injuries (e.g. sprains, strains, contusions, tendonitis, muscle tears and cumulative trauma) are subject to special rules set by law. In some instances, TTD for a soft tissue injury may be limited to 8 weeks.

Any time a person is receiving temporary disability benefits from an employer or the employer’s insurance company, he/she must formally advise, in writing, within 7 days any material change in the amount of income being received, or any change in employment status to the employer or the employer’s insurance company while benefits are being received.  It’s important to note that no employee may receive TTD benefits covering the same period of time as unemployment compensation benefits or for which employer-provided short-term disability benefits are received.

If you wish to file a claim as a result of a job-related injury, Form 3 should be filed with the Workers’ Compensation Court of Existing Claims.  There are two versions (A and B) for Form 3.  A Form 3B should be filed if you have an occupational disease (such as “asbestosis” or “silicosis”). A Form 3A is filed for a death claim if an employee dies as the result of a job-related injury. You may request the necessary forms to file a claim from your employer or the Workers’ Compensation Court of Existing Claims. The forms also are posted on the Court’s website at www.owcc.state.ok.us/court_forms.htm.

Please note, there are timing limits for filing a claim.  Anyone wishing to file a claim for Workers’ Compensation benefits with the Court must do so within two (2) years from the date of the injury or death, or within two (2) years from the date of payment of any compensation or wages in lieu of compensation, or within two (2) years of authorized medical care. For “repeated trauma” injuries, the two-year period runs from the date on which the employee was last employed. In case of asbestosis, or asbestosis related disease, silicosis or exposure to nuclear radiation, the two (2) years runs from the date the condition results in a symptom which can be medically diagnosed or from the date of last exposure.  Our law firm specializes in helping employees successfully complete a workers compensation claim.

A  website at www.owcc.state.ok.us