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Workers' compensation -- Disability benefits:  Temporary total disability (TTD)

Temporary total disability (TTD) benefits are paid during the period an employee is totally unable to work due to the effects of the work-related injury, subject to the waiting period, if applicable, as described in Section 1. The weekly compensation rate is generally two-thirds of an employee's gross weekly wage at the time of injury, subject to statutory minimums and maximums. TTD benefits cannot be paid concurrently with permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits. PPD is discussed in more detail later in this section.

Benefits are typically paid based on a five-day work week with each day considered to be 0.2 weeks of compensation. Occasionally an employee may work a different number of days a week, such as four, six or seven. In these situations, each day of TTD is computed by multiplying the weekly TTD rate by the fraction (or decimal equivalent) each day of work represents.

For example, if an employee worked four days a week, calculate the TTD rate at 0.25 weeks of compensation for each day owed. The six- and seven-day-a-week workers would be entitled to 1/6 or 1/7 of a week of compensation, respectively, for each day of TTD.

For injuries occurring on or after Oct. 1, 1995, through Sept. 30, 2000, a maximum of 104 weeks of TTD benefits are payable unless retraining is approved. All periods of TTD for that date of injury are counted toward the 104-week limitation, except benefits paid during an approved retraining plan.

For injuries occurring from Oct. 1, 2000, through Sept. 30, 2008, a maximum of 104 weeks of TTD benefits are payable unless retraining is approved. All periods of TTD for that date of injury are counted toward the 104-week limitation, except benefits paid during an approved retraining plan. The insurer must send written notification to the employee of the 104-week limitation on TTD after it has paid 52 weeks of TTD. A copy of the notice must be filed with the department.

For injuries occurring on or after Oct. 1, 2008, a maximum of 130 weeks of TTD benefits are payable unless retraining is approved. All periods of TTD for that date of injury are counted toward the 130-week limitation, except benefits paid during an approved retraining plan. The insurer must sent written notification to the employee of the 130-week limitation on TTD after it has paid 52 weeks of TTD. A copy of the notice must be filed with the department.

Statutory language

Below is the statutory language dealing with TTD for injuries occurring from Oct. 1, 1995, through Sept. 30, 2000.

176.101 Compensation schedule (1995)
Subd. 1. Temporary total disability

(a) For injury producing temporary total disability, the compensation is 66-2/3 percent of the weekly wage at the time of injury.

(b)

(1) Commencing on Oct. 1, 1995, the maximum weekly compensation payable is $615 per week.

(2) The Workers' Compensation Advisory Council may consider adjustment increases and make recommendations to the Legislature.

(c) The minimum weekly compensation payable is $104 per week or the employee's actual weekly wage, whichever is less.

Below is the statutory language dealing with TTD for injuries occurring from Oct. 1, 2000, through Sept. 30, 2008.

176.101 Compensation schedule (2000)
Subd. 1. Temporary total disability

(a) For injury producing temporary total disability, the compensation is 66-2/3 percent of the weekly wage at the time of  injury.

(b)

(1) Commencing on Oct. 1, 2000, the maximum weekly compensation payable is $750 per week.

(2) The Workers' Compensation Advisory Council may consider adjustment increases and make recommendations to the Legislature.

(c) The minimum weekly compensation payable is $130 per week or the employee's actual weekly wage, whichever is less.

Below is the statutory language dealing with TTD for injuries occurring on or after Oct. 1, 2008.

176.101 Compensation schedule (2008)
Subd. 1. Temporary total disability

(a) For injury producing temporary total disability, the compensation is 66-2/3 percent of the weekly wage at the time of the injury.

(b)

(1) Commencing on Oct. 1, 2008, the maximum weekly compensation payable is $850 per week.

(2) The Workers' Compensation Advisory Council may consider adjustment increases and make recommendations to the Legislature.

(c) The minimum weekly compensation payable is $130 per week or the employee's actual wage, whichever is less.

176.101 Compensation schedule (2013)
Subd. 1. Temporary total disability

(a) For injury producing temporary total disability, the compensation is 66-2/3 percent of the weekly wage at the time of the injury.

(b)

(1) Commencing on Oct. 1, 2013, and every October thereafter, the maximum weekly compensation payable is 102 percent of the statewide average weekly wage.

(2) The Workers' Compensation Advisory Council may consider adjustment increases and make recommendations to the Legislature.

(c) The minimum weekly compensation payable is $130 per week or the employee's actual wage, whichever is less.

Calculation of the rate for regularly scheduled workers

As stated earlier, the TTD rate is two-thirds of the gross weekly wage the employee earned at the time of the injury, subject to maximums and minimums. Effective Oct. 1, 2013, the maximum rate is 102 percent of the statewide average weekly wage and the minimum is $130 or the employee's actual gross weekly wage, whichever is less. For dates of injury between Oct. 1, 1995, and Sept. 30, 2013, cost-of-living adjustments are made on the fourth anniversary of the injury. For dates of injury on and after Oct. 1, 2013, cost-of-living adjustments are made on the third anniversary of the injury. (See Annual adjustment of benefits later in this section for more information.) If the employee works frequent or regular overtime throughout the year, the overtime earnings need to be included in the gross weekly wage to correctly calculate the compensation rate.

For example, an employee earns $300 a week and $100 a week in frequent and regular overtime. Calculate the TTD rate based on a gross weekly wage of $400. Always review case law involving overtime to determine if it should be included in the gross weekly wage on a specific claim.

If an employee works for more than one employer on the date of injury, wages from all employers must be included when determining the employee's gross weekly wage.

Earnings in addition to salary, such as declared tips, the value of room and board, etc., may be considered as part of the employee's wages, and if so, should be calculated as part of the gross weekly wage.

See Minnesota Statutes 176.011 Subd. 3 and 18 for more information about all these calculations.

Note:  An employee is only entitled to receive TTD if there is a loss of wages from all jobs. If an employee with multiple employers is only disabled from one job, TTD is not payable. Instead, temporary partial disability (TPD) would be payable. TPD is discussed in more detail later in this section.

Other than regularly scheduled workers

For part-time or irregularly scheduled employees, compute the gross weekly wage based on the employee's earnings during the past 26 weeks prior to the injury. Include in the earnings any vacation or holiday pay the employee received during that period. (Generally, this does not include lump-sum payouts of previously accrued vacation.) Here are the steps to take:

  1. Compute the average daily wage. Divide the total amount the employee earned (including vacation and holiday pay) during the past 26 weeks by the total number of days the employee actually worked (including days of paid vacation and holidays) during that time period.

  2. Compute the average number of days worked each week. Divide the total number of days actually worked (including days of paid vacation and holidays) during the past 26 weeks by the number of weeks the employee actually worked (including weeks of paid vacation and holidays) during that time period.

  3. Compute the gross weekly wage. Multiply the average daily wage by the average number of days worked a week.

For example, if an employee earns an average of $55 a day and works two days a week, the gross weekly wage is $110. This is the amount used to calculate the TTD rate.

Remember, when doing these calculations, only include the number of weeks in which the employee actually performed the duties of the job or weeks of paid vacation or holidays.

For example, if an employee worked 20 of the prior 26 weeks, the total days worked are divided into 20 weeks, not 26 weeks.

Generally, when the injury occurs during the middle of a work week, it is either not included in these computations or counted as a partial week under step 2 above.

For workers whose hours are affected by seasonal conditions, such as those in the mining, construction or other industries, the gross weekly wage is never less than five times the daily wage as calculated above.

While many voluntary uncompensated employees are not covered by workers' compensation laws, for those who are covered, their gross weekly wage is based on the usual wage for paid employees performing similar services. See Minnesota Statutes 176.011, Subd. 9 for more information.

Discontinuing TTD

Minnesota Statutes 176.101 Subd. 1 (effective for injuries Oct. 1, 2008 and after) outlines conditions for discontinuing TTD.

Providing that timely notice has been given to the employee, TTD ceases when any one of the following events occurs.

  • The employee returns to appropriate work.

  • The employee withdraws from the labor market for reasons other than the injury.

  • The employee is released to return to work and fails to make a diligent job search for appropriate work.

  • The employee refuses an offer of gainful work or work consistent with an approved rehabilitation plan.

  • It is 90 days after the employee has received a report that he or she has reached maximum medical improvement or 90 days after the end of an approved retraining plan, whichever is later.

  • One hundred and thirty weeks of TTD have been paid, except in the case of retraining.

  • Any other grounds to suspend or discontinue benefits as provided under Chapter 176 (e.g. when the employee retires for reasons other than the work injury, per Minnesota Statutes 176.101 Subd. 8).

Recommencing TTD

TTD recommences when any one of the following events occur.

  • The employee is medically unable to continue working at the job due to the work injury and 130 weeks of TTD have not yet been paid.

  • The employee is laid off or terminated for reasons other than misconduct. The layoff or termination must occur before the 90th day after the employee has reached MMI and before 130 weeks of TTD have been paid.

  • The employee, after failing to search for appropriate work, begins diligently searching for appropriate work before the 90th day after MMI and before 130 weeks of TTD have been paid.

  • The employee is enrolled in an approved retraining plan.

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