Temporary total disability benefits are paid under employer-secured insurance programs for workers compensation. Because workers comp laws and regulations vary from one state to the next, collecting both Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits and temporary total disability benefits (TTD) at the same time is largely dependent upon where you live. While it’s possible to receive both forms of disability benefit payments simultaneously in all states, the manner in which payment amounts are calculated can vary from state to state.
Types of Disability Benefits
Workers compensation is a state regulated program. Some states have TTD. Other states have short term disability (STD) and long term disability (LTD) plans. Permanent partial disability (PPD) is also an option in many states, and there some states in which state disability benefit are available. And, of course, there is also the federal program of Social Security Disability.
Navigating the options and understanding benefit entitlement can be challenging. Having the assistance of a disability advocate or attorney can make everything less confusing. With assistance you’ll be able to determine what options are available to you and which course of action may be most appropriate given your specific circumstances.
How Benefits are Calculated
Again, because workers comp is state regulated, the manner in which disability benefits from TTD, STD and LTD as well as state disability plans are calculated varies from one state to the next; however, with workers comp plans, benefit amounts are a defined percentage of your regular pay, up to a certain maximum dollar figure. Generally, these benefits are the equivalent of between 50 and 70 percent of your regular base pay or salary.
In some states, if you file for and receive SSD benefits, the amount of your workers comp or state disability benefits may be reduced based on the other monies you’re receiving from federal disability. In other states though, your workers comp or state benefit are not affected by SSD; however, the SSA has the right to adjust the SSD benefit amount a disabled worker receives on a monthly basis if he or she is receiving funds from another source. In other words, even if TTD benefits are not affected by concurrent benefit payments, SSD may be.
Disability Benefit Schedules
STD plans typically pay benefits to disabled workers for only a number of weeks, while TTD plans may pay benefits for up to as long as two years. During that time, the workers condition will either improve to the point they are able to return to work or their condition will continue to prevent gainful employment. If the latter is the case, then the STD or TTD plan will expire and the disabled worker will need to file for a new form of disability.
With employers that carry STD and LTD plans, the disabled worker would transition to LTD and would usually apply for state benefits if they’re available. When the disabled worker’s employer carries only TTD, the individual must find other sources of financial support – again, through state and/or federal disability.
Knowing When to File Your Claims
Part of qualifying for SSD is the expected duration of your disability. Your condition must be expected to last for 12 months or longer in order to meet SSD eligibility requirements. Additionally, the SSD review process can take a number of months, with some applicants waiting as long as two years before receiving a final determination on their eligibility.
As TTD and STD cover only a certain period of time, it’s important for you to consider filing concurrent disability claims. In other words, in order to cover all your bases and hopefully prevent being without some form of disability benefit payments for any lengthy period of time, you should consider filing for TTD or STD and SSD benefits simultaneously.
Again, because the disability benefits landscape can be confusing and because different options are available dependent upon where you live, seeking assistance in navigating through the varied systems is advisable. A Social Security Disability lawyer or advocate can help you determine what steps to take and when to take them in order to get all of the benefits to which you may be entitled.