If you are hurt on the job in a workplace injury, and your employer acknowledges your claim as a compensable injury, you are eligible for weekly payments to compensate you for lost wages. These payments are called TTD (temporary total disability) payments and you can collect 2/3 of your average weekly wage with a maximum payment of $575 per week. This is equivalent to $2,491.66 per month or $29,900 per year.
You can only collect TTD benefits if:
- an authorized treating physician completes a form stating that you are 100% physically unable to work; or
- an authorized treating physician completes a form limiting you to light duty work, but your employer does not have a light duty job available.
You can collect TTD benefits for up to 400 week (about 7 1/2 years) although most injured workers settle their on-the-job injury cases long before this.
If the authorized treating doctor releases you back to full duty or light duty work but you are making less money than before because the new job pays less or because you work fewer hours, you can collect TPD (temporary partial disability) benefits. Your TPD check will be 2/3 of the difference between your pre-injury wages and your post-injury wages, with a cap of $383 per week. You are limited to collecting TPD benefits for no more than 350 weeks (6 2/3 years) but here, too, most cases settle long before 6+ years.
When do TTD Benefits Start?
You become eligible for TTD benefits once you have incurred 7 days of lost time due to your work injury. Your first check must be mailed to you within 21 days after the first day of missed work. You do not get paid for the first week of missed work unless you are out of work for 21 consecutive days due to your injury. You should receive a check every week.
What if the Insurance Company is Late with Payments?
If the insurance company is late send you your TTD check, they will be liable to pay you a 25% penalty on late checks.
What if the Insurance Company Denies my Claim but Later Picks it Up as a Compensable Injury?
In such a case, you would receive a lump sum of all unpaid TTD checks + a check for the 25% late penalty. Then you would start receiving your regular weekly TTD check.
Can the Insurance Company Cut off my TTD Benefits?
Yes, but they have to go through procedures set out under Georgia’s work injuries laws. What happens is this: the insurance adjuster (or a lawyer representing the insurance company) will ask the authorized treating physician to fill out a form stating that you have been released to full or light duty work. This form, called a WC-2 Notice of Payment or Suspension of Benefits) is filed with the State Board, and mailed to you and your lawyer. You have the right to ask for a hearing before a State Board judge to oppose the insurance company’s actions.
Do I Get Unpaid TTD Benefits as Part of my Case Settlement?
Not directly but TTD benefits can be a big part of our settlement negotiations. If the insurance company denied your claim or cut you off and we are in litigation about getting your TTD benefits started, we would calculate your potential TTD recovery and make that figure part of our settlement demand. If you are getting TTD benefits currently and are potentially eligible to continue receiving those benefits for several more years, we would calculate the insurance company’ s potential financial exposure and include that figure in our settlement demand.
Will my TTD Payment Increase if Georgia Increases the $575 per Week Cap?
No, whatever cap is in effect at the time of your injury applies throughout your case.