Many times when a worker suffers an injury that results in temporary restrictions, the employer provides work within those restrictions, also known as light duty. In these cases, employees are often restricted to work 40 hours each week without regular overtime. This can have an adverse effect on their average weekly wage.
The rule in temporary partial disability (TPD) is that if the person earns less than they did at the time of their injury during the period of light duty, they are entitled to two-thirds of the difference.
Consider these scenarios:
If a worker’s average weekly wage at the time of an injury is $900 (gross), and during light duty, because of being unable to work overtime or for some other reason, the he earns $600 (gross), there is a difference of $300. He would then be entitled to $200 in temporary partial disability.
If that same injured employee was completely off work, his temporary total disability rate (TTD) would be two-thirds of the average weekly wage or $600. Many times the employee believes he may not earn more than the TTD rate while working light duty. This is not correct.
When the worker earned $600 performing light duty, they are still entitled to two-thirds of the difference between the average weekly wage and what they actually earned.
This is a common misunderstanding. Make certain that you are getting everything to which you are entitled under the law. Contact us today for a free consultation regarding your worker’s compensation claim.