The second category of indemnity benefits is Temporary Partial Disability benefits (frequently abbreviated as "TPD benefits"). TPD benefits are created by O.C.G.A. Sec. 34-9-262, and calculated in accord with the provisions of Board Rule 262. That statute provides as follows:
Except as otherwise provided in Code Section 34-9-263, where the disability to work resulting from the injury is partial in character but temporary in quality, the employer shall pay or cause to be paid to the employee a weekly benefit equal to two-thirds of the difference between the average weekly wage before the injury and the average weekly wage the employee is able to earn thereafter but not more than $334.00 per week for a period not exceeding 350 weeks from the date of injury.
O.C.G.A. Sec. 34-9-262.
In the typical Workers' Compensation case, TPD benefits are a less significant category of exposure than are TTD benefits. TPD benefits are less commonly required, and less commonly paid. While valuation in some cases turns entirely or nearly so upon the amount of future exposure for TPD benefits, this is not as common a ground for negotiations as is future exposure for TTD benefits.
TPD benefits are a potential area of exposure in almost any case, however, and should never be overlooked when evaluating a case for settlement and when preparing a settlement demand. There are several important points to remember about TPD benefits.
First, unlike TTD benefits, TPD benefits generally contemplate that the Employee/Claimant has returned to suitable work on light duty restrictions, as opposed to being unable to work at all. This category of benefits is due the Employee/Claimant when she is working but making less money than her pre-injury wage, and this loss of income is due to the work injury. As with TTD benefits, TPD benefits pay two thirds of the Employee/Claimant's loss of income due to the work injury. TPD benefits are therefore calculated by comparing the Employee/Claimant's wages post return to work with the Employee/Claimant's average weekly wage from the period of employment preceding the work injury. As long as the Employee/Claimant is making less due to the injury, she will receive two-thirds of the difference.
Also, like TTD benefits, TPD benefits have a ceiling as to both dollar amount and time period during which the Employee/Claimant may receive them. As to the time period, TPD benefits are payable out to a ceiling of 350 weeks from the Employee/Claimant's date of injury. As to dollar amount, as of 2007, the ceiling on the amount per week that the injured Employee/Claimant may receive for TPD benefits was $334.00 per week. As with TTD benefits, the Georgia Legislature periodically increases the maximum weekly amount payable for TPD benefits, and the maximum weekly benefit amount that will be available in any given case is the amount that was dictated by O.C.G.A. Sec. 34-9-262 as of the Employee/Claimant's date of injury.
Board Rule 262 gives the Employer/Insurer different options as to how to calculate the Employee/Claimant's loss of income in comparison with the Average Weekly Wage when the injured worker is entitled to TPD benefits. As always in Workers' Compensation, the practitioner should look at both the statute and the Board Rule when familiarizing herself with the benefits or procedures in question.
If you would like to learn more about temporary partial disability benefits and what they cover, then speak with an Atlanta workers' compensation attorney from our firm today. We have over 22 years of experience handling
personal injury and workers' comp cases and we can help you recover the benefits you deserve. Call us today at (888) 665-7699 for a
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