Under Minnesota workers’ compensation law, an injured worker may be entitled to several different types of wage loss benefits. These benefits can include:
1. Temporary Total Disability Benefits
2. Temporary Partial Disability Benefits
3. Permanent Total Disability Benefits
Temporary Total Disability (TTD) Benefits: there is no statutory definition of “temporary total disability,” but prior Minnesota workers’ compensation cases have defined it as: “a person is totally disabled if his physical condition, in combination with his age, training, and experience, and the type of work available in his community, causes him to be unable to secure anything more than sporadic employment resulting in an insubstantial income. A total disability is temporary when it is likely it will exist for a limited period of time only. ”
The amount and duration of temporary total disability benefits under Minnesota workers’ compensation law can change frequently. The law in effect at the time of the injury will determine the amount and duration of these benefits. It helps to have an experienced Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyer handling your case to make sure you get these benefits.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) Benefits: Case law again defines TPD benefits as follows:
1. A work related injury resulting in disability;
2. The loss of earning capacity must be causally related to the work related disability;
3. The employee must be able to work subject to the disability; and
4. There must be an actual loss of earning capacity.
Permanent Total Disability (PTD) Benefits: Like TTD benefits, entitlement to PTD benefits is determined by the Minnesota workers’ compensation law in effect on the date of injury. Prior to October 1, 1992 permanent total disability was defined as: “The total and permanent loss of the sight of both eyes, the loss of both arms at the shoulder, the loss of both legs so close to the hips that no effective artificial members can be used, complete and permanent paralysis, total and permanent loss of mental faculties, or any other injury which totally incapacitates the employee from working in an occupation which brings the employee an income constitutes total disability.”
In 1992 the law was amended to state: “totally and permanently incapacitated means that the employee’s physical disability, in combination with the employee’s age, education, training and experience, causes the employee to be unable to secure anything more than sporadic employment resulting in an insubstantial income.”
In 1995 the law was amended again to include certain thresholds for the medical/vocational test. In order to be entitled to PPD work comp benefits for medical/vocational test, an injured employee must meet one of the following thresholds:
1. Employee has at least a 17 permanent partial disability rating; or
2. The employee has a permanent partial disability rating of the whole body of at least 15 percent and the employee is at least 50 years old at the time of injury; or
3. The employee has a permanent partial disability rating of the whole body of at least 13 percent and the employee is at least 55 years old at the time of the injury, and has not completed grade 12 or obtained a GED certificate.
Entitlement to any one of these work comp benefits can be much more complicated than I have defined here. These are just the general requirements to be entitled to these benefits. If you have any questions about these benefits, or believe you are not receiving a wage loss benefit under Minnesota workers’ compensation law that you believe you may be entitled to, it is important to contact Minnesota work comp attorney. Our St. Paul workers’ compensation lawyers can be reached 24 hours a day to answer your questions.