When workers are hurt on the job, they rely on workers’ compensation benefits to help them get by as they recover from their injuries, including partial wages. California’s Division of Workers’ Compensation recently had good news – temporary total disability rates (TTD) are being increased next year.
Beginning January 1, 2022, the minimum TTD rate will increase from $203.44 to $230.95 per week. The maximum TTD rate will increase from $1,356.31 to $1,539.71 per week.
Labor Code requires minimum and maximum TTD rates to increase at an equal percentage when there is an increase in the State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW). The SAWW is the average weekly wage paid to employees covered by unemployment insurance.
A partial replacement of lost wages
This is an important benefit for injured workers who suffer a loss of income when they are left unable to go back to work. Workers’ compensation will pay for medical expenses related to their injury. But there are other bills that workers need to pay, including grocery bills, rent or mortgage, and utilities. TTD can help them make ends meet.
In order to qualify for temporary total disability, a worker’s injury or illness needs to have been related to their job. They need to be evaluated by a primary treating physician, typically one that is in the employer’s medical provider network. Generally, TTD payments stop when the physician determines the worker has reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), or after 2 years of payments.
The amount of temporary total disability benefits is two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wages at the time of the injury, within the maximum and minimum rate requirements. These benefits are not subject to federal, state, or local income taxes. You also do not need to pay Social Security taxes, union dues, or retirement fund contributions.
It all sounds pretty straightforward. But the reality is that the workers’ compensation process can get complicated. Initial claims for benefits are often denied. Employers challenge claims and may choose doctors more inclined to minimize your injuries. Insurance companies may pressure you into returning to work even though you’re not fully recovered.
An experienced workers' comp lawyer can make a difference
That’s why it’s important to have an experienced workers’ compensation attorney on your side. At McLaughlin & Sanchez, we offer more than 30 years of combined experience in workers’ compensation law. We know how the system works in California and what it takes to get injured workers the benefits they deserve.
Our lawyers can help you navigate the process every step of the way. We make sure your injuries are properly evaluated and you get the treatment you need. We carefully review the calculation of your temporary total disability wage so that you get the benefits you are eligible to receive, and nothing less.
We know the impact a work injury can have on you and your family. Temporary total disability benefits can make a big difference as you recover and help you get through a difficult time. Our lawyers are dedicated to helping you get all of the benefits you deserve.
If you were injured on the job in San Diego or anywhere in Imperial County, learn more about how we can help. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.