Temporary partial disability (TPD) is a wage-loss benefit payable to employees who are back to work, but earning less than their pre-injury gross weekly wage. It is payable at two-thirds of the difference between what the employee earned at the time of the injury and the current earnings. The benefits are payable only if the employee is employed. Be careful not to confuse "not being employed" with "being employed, but on vacation." If an employee who is collecting TPD takes one week of vacation, the employee is still employed and TPD should be paid for that week at an average weekly rate. TPD benefits can be paid concurrently with permanent partial disability (PPD). PPD is discussed in more detail later in this section.
During the years, the laws may have included limitations on the duration of TPD benefits. It is important to remember that the date of injury controls, so limitations -- if any -- in effect on the date of the injury affect the length of payment of TPD.
For injuries occurring on or after Oct. 1, 1992, TPD is limited to 225 weeks of paid benefits or 450 weeks after the date of injury, whichever occurs first. All periods of TPD for that date of injury are counted toward these limitations, except benefits paid during an approved training plan.
Below is the statutory language dealing with temporary partial disability for injuries occurring on or after Oct. 1, 1995.
176.101 Compensation Schedule (1995)
Subd. 2. Temporary partial disability.
(a) In all cases of temporary partial disability the compensation shall be 66-2/3 percent of the difference between the weekly wage of the employee at the time of injury and the wage the employee is able to earn in the employee's partially disabled condition. This compensation shall be paid during the period of disability except as provided in this section, payment to be made at the intervals when the wage was payable, as nearly as may be, and subject to the maximum rate for temporary total compensation.
(b) Temporary partial compensation may be paid only while the employee is employed, earning less than the employee's weekly wage at the time of the injury, and the reduced wage the employee is able to earn in the employee's partially disabled condition is due to the injury. Except as provided in section 176.102, subdivision 11, paragraph (b) and (c), temporary partial compensation may not be paid for more than 225 weeks, or after 450 weeks after the date of injury, whichever occurs first.
(c) Temporary partial compensation must be reduced to the extent that the wage the employee is able to earn in the employee's partially disabled condition plus the temporary partial disability payment otherwise payable under this subdivision exceeds 500 percent of the statewide average weekly wage.
As stated above, the TPD rate is two-thirds of the difference between the employee's gross weekly wage at the time of the injury and the current earnings. The benefits are subject to the maximum compensation rate for TTD, but not the minimum. In rare situations, an employee's TPD rate would be reduced if their current wage plus their current TPD rate exceeds 500 percent of the statewide average weekly wage.
The current gross weekly wage is subtracted from the gross weekly wage at the time of the injury. This difference is then multiplied by two-thirds and any annual adjustments are made to the product. For dates of injury on or after Oct. 1, 1995, cost-of-living adjustments are made on the fourth anniversary of the injury. (See Annual adjustment of benefits for more information.)
For example, an employee earning $500 a week at the time of the injury is now earning $200 a week. The wage loss is $300 a week and the unadjusted TPD is two-thirds of that, or $200 a week. The $200 is multiplied by any annual adjustments that would apply.
If the employee is earning an inconsistent amount of wages during the period for which TPD is due, the insurer may require wage verification before it makes payment of TPD. Keep in mind that if the employee's wages are consistent for a period of time, the insurer should not require this information before making payment.
Benefits are due within 10 days of when the employee or employer sends wage verification. See Minnesota Rules Part 5220.2540, Subp. 1 for more information.
Note: Calculation of TPD is based on weekly wages, not hourly wages, and is done on a weekly basis, not per pay period or some other period of time.