If you have questions regarding disability and workers’ compensation in Denver, reach out to a skilled Denver injury attorney today to gain an aggressive advocate for your case. Read on to learn more about disability and workers’ compensation in Denver, as well as the ways a professional lawyer can make a difference for you.
What Constitutes Disability
There are disability benefits for temporary and permanent disabilities within the Denver workers’ compensation system, which all have their own legal standards, medical standards, and burdens of proof. Therefore, the definition of disability will change depending on what type of settlement or package an individual is considering based on their unique situation. Know that the definition of disability in the social security sense can also be very different than what a judge may say in determining a workers’ compensation package.
Temporary Partial and Total Disability
Temporary partial disability benefits are wage loss benefits that are also referred to as TPD. An injured worker gets TPD when they are put on modified or light duty and are paid partial wages by their employer. TPD comes from the workers’ compensation carrier to give the injured worker up to 2/3 of their average weekly wage. For example, if a doctor tells an individual that they can work for a four-hour shift instead of a normal eight-hour shift, then the worker would be paid for those four hours at work and then the workers’ compensation carrier would pay the rest.
Temporary total disability, or TTD, are wage loss benefits provided if an injured employee is completely restricted from working. These benefits are only granted as long as a doctor recommends that the patient should stay off of work. For example, if someone receives a surgery and they cannot work for six weeks, they would be eligible for temporary total disability benefits. The other context in which these benefits come into play is if someone is placed on modified or light duty but the employer cannot accommodate those restrictions. In that situation, the employer would have to default to the temporary total and keep the injured individual off of work completely.
Permanent Partial and Total Disability
Permanent partial disability, or PPD benefits, are paid if an injured worker receives a permanent impairment rating. PPD acts as the value of those injuries. There is a calculation set by law depending on the injured body part, the individual’s average weekly wage, and sometimes their age. For example, if someone receives a 15% permanent impairment rating, that rating is worth 15% of their normal average wages. If that amounted to $20,000, for instance, then $20,000 would be paid out to the worker in PPD benefits.
If an employee’s disability permanently renders them unable to return to work, the treating physician will hopefully give the opinion that the claimant is permanently and totally disabled. If the workers’ compensation carrier agrees with that opinion and admits to permanent total disability, the injured worker would receive lifelong disability benefits.
Social Security Benefits
Outside of the workers’ compensation system, injured employees can also apply for social security disability benefits. The disability standard within the two areas are very different. Workers’ compensation possesses a higher standard for the definition of disability. Social security takes into account the individual’s age and the type of work that they have been doing. If an individual is eligible for both of those types of benefits, there are offsets between the two because they overlap. Know that employees can still receive both, but one payment will be lower because of the other.
If you require legal assistance in determining disability and workers’ compensation in Denver, reach out to a professional attorney today to learn more about what packages you may be eligible for.