Arizona recognizes three stages to an accepted workers’ compensation claim: (i) temporary total disability (TTD); (ii) temporary partial disability (TPD); (iii) and permanent partial disability (PPD). Each stage is based on medical decisions and change based on your doctor’s opinion and a report provided through an independent medical examination.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
Temporary total disability means that the injured worker is temporarily, totally disabled and unable to work because of the work related injury. A doctor must provide documentation that the injured worker is unable to work. During this stage, the employer’s insurance company will pay for all medical expenses related to the work injury so long as an approved doctor provides them. The injured worker will receive benefits for 2/3 of lost wages. A hearing may be necessary if the insurance company disputes a TTD status.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)
During this stage, the injured worker still needs medical care, however, a doctor believes that the injured worker is capable of returning to the duties of regular work or modified, light duty, work. The employer’s insurance company will continue to pay all medical expenses. The injured worker will be entitled to receive two-thirds of the difference between the established average monthly wage and the wages that the injured worker is capable of earning within the medical restrictions. There is often dispute between the injured worker and the insurance as to the type of work that the injured worker is capable of obtaining and performing. As one may expect, this issue is often litigated and having an attorney during the claim process will be very beneficial.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
This means that a doctor believes that the injured worker has received maximum benefit from medical treatment and that additional treatment will not provide additional improvement to the permanent injury. This will result in the case being closed from further active medical care, even though the worker suffers a permanent disability as a result of the work related accident. In the event of a serious injury, there may be a permanent disability award through a permanent impairment rating.
It is important to understand each stage and beneficial to have an experienced attorney by your side when disputes arise. Arizona Workers’ Compensation Attorney, Robert Wisniewski can provide the knowledge and experience to help you. Call his office at (602) 234-3700 to schedule an appointment for a free consultation.