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Temporary Disability

When an injured employee is unable to work because of an injury or illness which was caused by the employment, the employee is entitled to receive temporary disability compensation. This benefit is payable at the rate of two-thirds of their gross (pre-tax) wages at the time of injury with certain maximums and minimums. This benefit is not taxable. These benefits are payable every fourteen days.

Temporary disability compensation benefits will terminate when the injured worker has been released by the treating physician to return to his or her regular work, has been paid the 104 week benefit limitation, or when the injured employee's condition becomes permanent and stationary (P & S) or reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), meaning that the effects of the injury have stabilized.

If the treating physician releases a worker to light duty work (such as no lifting over 10 pounds), and the employer does not make work available within those restrictions, the injured worker is entitled to receive temporary disability compensation.

If the treating physician releases a worker to modified duty (reduction of hours) the injured worker may be entitled to receive wage loss benefits. If your partial employment pays you less than the weekly maximum or less than your previous average weekly earnings, then you are entitled to two-thirds of the money you have lost, two-thirds of the difference between what you make now and what you made before.

Workers injured after the April 2004 reforms have a 104 week limitation on temporary disability. After the total temporary disability (TTD) period expires these workers may perhaps be able to draw State Disability funds from Employment Development Department (EDD). Exceptions for the 104 week limitation are acute and chronic hepatitis B and C, amputations, severe burns, HIV, high-velocity eye injuries, chemical burns to the eyes, pulmonary fibrosis and chronic lung disease injuries. Exempt injuries typically take longer to heal; they are subject to a cap of 240 weeks within a five year period.

Total temporary disability benefits should not be confused with SDI or State Disability Insurance. Both benefits are referred to as disability but State Disability Insurance does not require that your disability be work-related. It is paid by the Employment Development Department (EDD) of the State of California. Workers' compensation benefits are payable by an insurance company for your employer or an administrator on behalf of your employer if your employer is self-insured.

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