When you’ve suffered a Vermont work injury, the law entitles you to a number of different workers’ compensation benefits depending on your injury and how well you recover from it. Vermont work comp benefits which you may be entitled to include “indemnity” benefits like temporary and permanent disability benefits, as well as medical benefits and vocational rehabilitation benefits. I’ll discuss temporary indemnity benefits in this post. Please read my next post to learn about permanent disability benefits.
Temporary Disability Benefits. If you experience a Vermont work injury and are forced to miss time from work, you are most likely entitled to temporary disability benefits. Temporary disability benefits are intended to replace the wages you lose while recovering from a Vermont work injury. There are two types of temporary disability benefits: temporary total disability (“TTD”) benefits and temporary partial disability (“TPD”) benefits.
If your doctor concludes you are unable to work while recovering from your Vermont work injury, you are entitled to TTD benefits. Generally speaking, TTD benefits are calculated using 2/3rds of the average gross wages you received in the 26 weeks before your injury. You’re typically entitled to these TTD benefits until a doctor says you’ve reached “maximum medical improvement” or until you return to work, whichever occurs first.
If your doctor concludes that you can work part-time or in some limited capacity, and your employer is able to accommodate those restrictions, you may be entitled to TPD benefits instead of TTD benefits. TPD benefits are more confusing to calcualte, because you are paid 2/3rds of the difference between the average gross wages before your work injury and after your work injury. TPD supplements whatever smaller paycheck you’re still receiving from your employer.
As you can see, these calculations can be complicated and the insurance company may not actually be paying you the right amount. I have frequently been hired by people who didn’t realize the insurance company was underpaying them until I went through the insurance company’s calculations. One client was being paid $100 less per week than he was entitled to. It is also the insurance company’s goal to find a way to stop having to pay you anything, and they do that by filing a “Form 27” with the Vermont Department of Labor. It’s best to have a lawyer representing you before that happens, so that he or she can fight the insurance company’s efforts and keep your weekly checks coming in. If you have been receiving TTD benefits for a prolonged period of time, call Dickson Law Office for advice on whether you need an attorney.