If you have been injured at work, you may either be on Temporary Total Disability or Permanent Partial Disability.
Workers’ Compensation benefits comprise of two things – Wage loss and medical benefits.
The wage loss pays you at a ‘Compensation Rate’ instead of your regular earnings. The compensation rate is calculated based on your past earnings with that employer, based on your gross earnings, called your “Average Weekly Wage”.
Temporary total disability benefits, or TTD benefits, are wage loss benefits that are paid if you are out of work altogether. These benefits start one week from your last date of work due to the work injury and can last until a workers’ compensation judge determines that your wage loss benefits be modified, suspended, or terminated; or if you settle your workers’ compensation case.
Permanent partial disability benefits, or PPD benefits, are wage loss benefits that are paid if you return to work at fewer hours or less pay post-injury. The PPD makes up the difference between your pre-injury and post-injury wages. PPD benefits can only last for a 500-week period, but rarely are paid for this long.
Whether you receive either temporary total disability benefits or permanent partial disability benefits, your employer and the workers’ compensation carrier will try to stop your benefits in some way. They would send you for an IME or Independent Medical Evaluation, with a doctor of their choice for a one-time exam to assess your condition after your work injury. After the IME, the doctor will write a report and send it to the workers’ compensation carrier with an opinion about your medical status and working ability. Often, these reports are in the favor of the workers’ compensation carrier, and would indicate that you can return to some type of work, or you have fully recovered from your work injury. Hence, the workers’ compensation carrier and your employer may take steps to stop your workers’ compensation benefits. The good news is, in Arizona, you can go to a doctor you choose, after the IME. However, if you keep seeing the IME doctor, s/he becomes your treating physician.
To consult the best workers comp and personal injury doctors in Phoenix, Arizona, call Arizona Injury Medical Associates at 480-347-0941.