What are disability benefits?
Temporary disability is the claim you would file if you are unable to work for a temporary period lasting as long as a few months.
A few states have laws that require employers to provide disability insurance, but North Carolina is not among them. For those with disability insurance, it pays benefits to employees who are not working due to non-job-related accidents or illnesses (Workers’ compensation covers job-related injuries). It also provides coverage for employees who may not be eligible for workers’ compensation, or it may supplement workers’ compensation.
Filing a claim for disability is very similar to filing an insurance claim. You’re not filing a lawsuit against your employer; you’re simply requesting the benefits that are legally provided to you.
How are disability benefits calculated?
Disability benefits are calculated differently, depending on whether your injury is deemed to be a Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) or a Temporary Total Disability (TTD).
These are calculated by taking 2/3 the difference between your average weekly wage and the amount earned at the reduced number. TPD disability benefits are benefits for lost wages when you can return to do some work, but at a reduced capacity (in wages, hours of a combination of both).
Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits
These benefits are calculated at 2/3 (66 2/3%) of your average weekly salary after the first 7 days of disability. Your average weekly wage is usually calculated by looking at the gross (pre-tax) wages you earned in the 52 weeks preceding your injury.
As an injured employee, you can receive weekly checks at the TTD or TPD rate until your period of temporary disability is over, up to a maximum of 500 weeks (with exceptions to extend those benefits).
Can you receive disability benefits and workers’ compensation benefits at the same time?
Many individuals who are injured on the job have short- and long-term term disability policies offered as a part of their benefits package. If your company has these policies in place, you can receive both workers’ compensation benefits and short- or long-term disability benefits at the same time.
There is one consideration, however, and it’s tied to who pays for your disability plan.
- If your disability plan is fully paid for by your employer, the workers’ compensation carrier will be allowed to take a credit on any long- or short-term disability benefits received
- If you pay for a portion of your own disability plan (usually via payroll deduction), then it’s likely that you can receive both benefits without the workers’ compensation carrier taking a credit
How can a disability lawyer help you?
If your workers’ compensation check is being reduced because you are receiving long- or short-term disability benefits, contact the short term disability lawyers at Wilson, Reives & Silverman. We will look at your benefits and can advise you regarding what benefits you are entitled to receive.
It will not cost you anything to come in for a consultation. At Wilson, Reives & Silverman, PLLC, all initial consultations for workers’ compensation cases are given free of charge.