What Happens to Workers’ Comp Payments If I Return to Work?
If you have been injured in an on the job accident which caused a physician to place you on temporary total disability benefits you may be wondering what happens to your worker’s compensation payments if you return to work. First, be sure that you do not return to work until cleared by the doctor assigned to your worker’s compensation case. Only the treating physician assigned to your case can clear you to return to work. When you are cleared to return to work you may still be eligible to receive benefits from your claim.
Your doctor may clear you to return to work with restrictions or for light duty while you recover. If your employer can accommodate these restrictions, but it results in a loss or decrease in pay you may be eligible for Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) benefits. When you return to work, if you are earning less than eighty percent of your Average Weekly Wages (AWW) then you are entitled to TPD benefits equal to eighty percent of the difference between what you are making and eighty percent of your AWW.
For example, if your AWW is $500 but the light duty position your employer has found for you only pays $200 per week you would receive $160 dollars in TPD benefits.
80% of 500 = 400 – 200 = 200
80% of 200 = 160
When your doctor decides that you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) you may still be eligible for benefits. When you have reached MMI your authorized physician will evaluate what percentage of your body has been permanently impaired by your injury. If that percentage is greater than zero you will be eligible for Impairment Income Benefits (IBs). Your IBs will be based on your AWW and the percentage of impairment assigned by your treating physician. The number of weeks you will receive IBs is based on your percentage of impairment. The amount is based on your AWW, and should be equal to your total disability benefits. You can use this link to help calculate your IBs: https://www.myfloridacfo.com/division/wc/employee/calculators/IBcalc.htm