Qualifying for Benefits: Temporary Total Disability
For individuals experiencing a workplace injury, a primary concern becomes income. If you cannot work, how will you earn money to support your family or pay your bills?
Under Ohio Workers’ Compensation, an injured worker is eligible for receiving temporary total disability benefits if they are taken off work because of their industrial injury. This means that if you are injured and you cannot return to the position of employment that you held at the time of your injury, you may be entitled to temporary payments from the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC).
In order to qualify for temporary total disability benefits, the BWC requires the doctor administering treatment, known as the treating physician, to certify that either:
- The injured worker cannot temporarily return to work, or
- The injured worker can return to work on light duty restrictions.
Light duty restrictions refers to workplace restrictions to accommodate for the injury. For example, if you injure your left hand and cannot lift more than 2 pounds with that hand, your treating physician can specify that you may return to work on light duty restrictions, but the restrictions must be directly related to the claim and your employer must be able to accommodate for them in order to qualify for benefits.
As far as the benefits received, under Ohio Workers’ Compensation law, all compensation is based on the average of the injured worker’s earnings within 1 year prior to the date of the injury. Factor in also that because Workers’ Compensation benefits are non taxable, the injured worker will then be paid at a rate of two-thirds, or 66%, of that average. Payments are made on a bi-weekly basis. For example, if you are injured on June 1, 2020, the BWC will take the average of your weekly earnings from June 1, 2019 through June 1, 2020. They will then determine 66% of that amount and the total will be the benefits payment you receive bi-weekly.
The length of time for which you are eligible to receive temporary total disability benefits depends on 3 possible outcomes. Benefits will continue until either:
- You return to work,
- Your treating physician states that you can return back to work doing your regular job, or
- You reach a treatment plateau. A treatment plateau occurs when your symptoms are not improving with treatment or are not becoming worse with treatment. Rather, symptoms remain the same.
Once 1 of these 3 events occurs, your temporary total disability benefits will stop. However, there still may be other opportunities to receive compensation.
If you are injured on the job and meet the qualifications outlined above, you may be eligible for temporary total disability benefits. If you do not meet the qualifications for these benefits, there may be other avenues for obtaining compensation due to your workplace injury. We can ensure you receive the benefits you deserve. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-242-1555.