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How Are Income Benefits Calculated?

In Georgia, income benefits accrue only after you have missed five consecutive work days due to a work-related injury or illness. On the sixth working day, the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy begins to owe you income benefits. Income benefit amounts are calculated differently for TTD, TPD and PPD and they have different periods of time (or caps) for which they might have to be paid. In addition, every injured worker’s situation is different and no two injuries are exactly alike. Therefore, it is very hard to determine with precision exactly how much money one injured worker may eventually be paid as opposed to another injured worker.

Generally, however, the main income benefit (TTD) can be calculated as follows: If you earned more than $787.45 per week before your injury, and you were hurt after July 1st, 2013, then the TTD you would be paid would be $525.00 per week, for all the weeks you are unable to work. If you earned less than $787.45 per week before your injury, (and the injury was after 7-1-13), then your TTD benefits would simply be equal to two-thirds of your average weekly wage. TTD rates for injuries sustained before July 1st, 2013 are lower than for injuries that occurred after July 1st, 2013.

Regardless of your average weekly wage and calculated compensation rate for TTD, those benefits are payable after the first week you cannot work. The maximum number of weeks you can get TTD payments is 400 weeks. You are entitled to receive TTD benefits as long as you remain unable to return to work. If the doctor returns you to work “light-duty” (and your employer cannot provide you work within those restrictions) then you would still be entitled to TTD payments. This is a tricky area of workers’ comp and you should consult with your lawyer if you are being pushed back to work before you are ready.

The second money benefit, TPD benefits, are paid during the period you are confined to light duty restrictions and the restriction results in a partial loss of income. TPD benefits are calculated at two-thirds of the partially lost income. The maximum number of weeks you can be paid TPD is 350 weeks, and the most money you can receive in TPD payments is $350.00 per week, for injuries after July 1st, 2013.

PPD benefits are calculated on a percentage basis. In other words, what is the percentage of loss, or function, of one or more parts of your body? Permanent partial disability ratings, or measurements, are provided by the injured workers’ authorized treating physician. The doctor must use the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, 5th Edition in order to give you a “rating.”

Posted in: Workers Compensation