Mississippi Temporary Total Disability Lawyer
In Mississippi, employees who become injured or ill on the job have the right to seek workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to cover injured employees’ medical bills and lost wages. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, meaning that injured employees don’t need to prove that someone was at fault for their injuries to receive compensation. Injured employees can file a workers’ compensation claim and receive medical benefits and indemnity benefits.
Indemnity benefits are wage replacements, and there are four different types of indemnity benefits: Temporary Total Disability, Permanent Total Disability, Supplemental Earnings, and Permanent Partial Disability. If an employee’s injury causes them to lose time away from work temporarily, they may qualify for Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits.
Workers’ compensation is designed to cover all medical expenses, but indemnity benefits only cover a percentage of an employee’s lost earnings. If you can’t work due to your injury, you cannot recover full lost wages for permanent or temporary disability benefits.
Receiving the percentage of lost wages you’re entitled to can be challenging. Calculating the benefits you deserve can be difficult, and employers and insurance companies often put up roadblocks so that your claim is denied, underpaid, or you stop receiving the benefits prematurely.
If you’re injured on the job in Mississippi, you need expert attorneys at your side who understands workers’ compensation law and will fight for your claim. Fortunately, the attorneys at Lunsford, Baskin, & Priebe can help you receive the benefits you deserve for your workplace injury. Our attorneys specialize in workers’ compensation and have assisted workers across numerous industries to receive temporary and permanent disability benefits for their injuries. With years of experience fighting for workers, we’re prepared to help you receive your full claim for medical bills and indemnity benefits.
You can learn more about Temporary Total Disability benefits below as well as from other workers’ compensation resources on our website. If you have any questions, contact our Jackson office at 601-488-3975. You can also request a free workers’ compensation case evaluation by clicking here.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits
Temporary Total Disability benefits are designed to assist employees who are temporarily out of work because of an injury or illness sustained while on the job. The benefits are designed to assist workers by offering a percentage of their lost wages while they recover from their injury or illness.
Temporarily disabled workers receive benefits for a set period or until their primary physician allows them to return to their work. The injured employee doesn’t necessarily need to be fully recovered to return to work because they may be able to perform light-duty work, meaning that they can perform work tasks that aren’t as physically or mentally challenging as their work before being injured. An employee can still be recovering from an injury when performing light-duty work.
Although an employee who becomes injured on the job may only qualify for one type of disability benefit, they can switch benefits if the nature of their recovery or disability changes. An employee may receive Temporary Total Disability benefits, but if they reach their maximum medical recovery, meaning they won’t improve further, and they still have limitations that keep them from work, they could qualify for Partial or Total Permanent Disability benefits.
Another example of switching indemnity benefits is the worker may receive Temporary Total Disability benefits but their doctor then permits them to return to work part-time. They may no longer receive Temporary Total Disability benefits, but they could qualify for Supplemental Earning benefits.
Mississippi Temporary Total Disability Payments
Injured employees in Mississippi cannot earn more than 66⅔% of their pre-injury earnings when receiving indemnity benefits, and that includes Temporary Total Disability Benefits. Additionally, the amount of time that an employee can receive TTD benefits differs from state to state. Although some states have no time restrictions for receiving TTD benefits, Mississippi limits employees to only 450 weeks of benefits. Also, employees need to be out of work for at least two weeks before being able to receive Temporary Total Disability benefits. There is a five-day period in which employees have to wait for benefits, but they’ll be paid for the first five days of their disability if they’re out of work for more than two weeks and qualify for TTD benefits.
According to Mississippi Code 71-3-17(b), the legislature on payment of Temporary Total Disability benefits are as follows:
- “In case of disability, total in character but temporary in quality, sixty-six and two-thirds percent (66⅔%) of the average weekly wages of the injured employee, subject to the maximum limitations as to weekly benefits as set up in this chapter, shall be paid to the employee during the continuance of such disability not to exceed four hundred fifty (450) weeks or an amount greater than the multiple of four hundred fifty (450) weeks times sixty-six and two-thirds percent (66⅔%) of the average weekly wage for the state. Provided, however, if there arises a conflict in medical opinions of whether or not the claimant has reached maximum medical recovery and the claimant’s benefits have been terminated by the carrier, then the claimant may demand an immediate hearing before the commissioner upon five (5) days’ notice to the carrier for a determination by the commission of whether or not in fact the claimant has reached maximum recovery.”
Additionally, injured employees could receive a lump sum of $5,000 if they are permanently scarred or disfigured.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits Eligibility
Mississippi employees are eligible for Temporary Total Disability benefits if they’re out of work because of their workplace injury for a temporary amount of time. As noted previously, they will not be able to receive TTD benefits beyond 450 weeks.
In order to start receiving benefits, injured employees need to file a workers’ compensation claim. After receiving approval, the employee then seeks medical treatment to gauge the extent of their injury and if they’ll need time away from work. To receive TTD benefits, you need to be able to prove your claim with objective medical records indicating that you need time away from work. If you can’t prove that you need time away from work to recover, you won’t qualify for Temporary Total Disability Benefits.
You can present the following evidence and information in court to prove your eligibility for Temporary Total Disability benefits:
- Medical records
- Doctor’s assessments
- Work history
- Physical capacity
- The severity of your condition
- Functional limitations
How Long Do Mississippi Temporary Total Disability Benefits Last?
Employees who qualify for Temporary Total Disability may continue receiving benefits until:
- They either make a full recovery or recover enough to return to work. A primary physician needs to sign off on the employee returning. Even if the employee can’t return to their previous work, they could lose TTD benefits if they’re able to perform light-duty work.
- If the injury worsens or it becomes clear that the injured employee will not recover from limitations that hinder their ability to work, they will no longer qualify for TTD benefits, but they could qualify for Partial or Total Permanent Disability benefits.
- The injured worker can receive TTD benefits so long as they are eligible for no more than 450 weeks, or an amount greater than 450 times 66 ⅔% of the average weekly wage for the state.
Workers’ Compensation Permanent Medical Benefits
Although injured employees can’t receive more than 450 weeks of Temporary Total Disability benefits in Mississippi, they may continue receiving the medical benefits of workers’ compensation indefinitely. For example, if a work injury causes severe physical limitations, the employee may only receive 450 weeks of Temporary Total Disability Benefits, but they could continue receiving physical or occupational therapy permanently if their doctor prescribes it.
Why You Need a Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Although receiving the workers’ compensation you need for medical bills and indemnity benefits shouldn’t be a challenging process, employers and insurance companies often intentionally make it difficult or attempt to deny injured employees what they deserve. Your claim could be underpaid, denied, or you could lose your Temporary Total Disability Benefits before you’re able to return to work. Insurance companies are looking for ways to save money, so they don’t have your best interests in mind.
You need expert legal support to ensure you receive the full compensation you deserve for medical bills and TTD benefits. Here at Lunsford, Baskin, & Priebe, PLLC, we’ve helped countless clients across numerous industries receive the benefits they deserve so that they could make a full recovery or reach maximum medical recovery before returning to work. We’ve helped construction workers, truck drivers, laborers, first responders, and many other employees across different industries receive the full workers’ compensation they needed.