After sustaining a workplace injury or work-related illness, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in order to supplement your lost income. Getting proper compensation can literally be the difference between putting food on the table, keeping a roof over your family’s head, and paying all your bills.
While there are many different types of disability benefits, temporary income benefits (TIBs) may be paid to individuals who need a temporary supplement to their income due to a work injury or illness. Below, we break down who qualifies for these benefits and how they are calculated.
Qualifications for TIBs
You may be eligible to receive TIBs only if your workplace injury or work-related injury caused you to be out of work for more than seven days. In addition, you must be earning less than your pre-injury earnings for more than those seven days. This means that, on your eighth day of lost income, you may become eligible to receive weekly TIB checks.
After a certain period of time, your doctor may allow you to return to work at modified duty. This means that your employer would need to make changes to accommodate your medical restrictions, which could include:
Fewer work hours
An alternate work assignment
A lighter workload
More assistance with job duties
Keep in mind that you may still be entitled to TIBs if your employer provides the modified duty at reduced wages.
How TIBs Are Calculated
The amount you will receive from your disability check will be calculated in the following way:
1. All of your combined earnings for 13 weeks prior to the date of your injury will be divided by 13 to determine your Average Weekly Wage (AAW). This number will be a reflection of your average gross wages (before taxes and any other deductions are made) and may also include bonuses, benefits, and any other type of income not related to wages.
2. After your AAW is calculated, your employer is required to send their insurance provider a breakdown of all your earnings in a state DWC Form-003 Employer’s Wage Statement. This will basically validate your actual earnings prior to the injury or illness.
3. Once this is complete, your weekly TBIs check will be 70% of your gross Average Weekly Wage. You may be worried about the 30% income loss, however, keep in mind that there are no additional tax or withholdings from these checks. So, your weekly benefit check shouldn’t be that much less than your regular take-home pay (for most individuals). This final calculated amount is called your weekly “Comp Rate.”
When These Benefits Stop
Now that we’ve covered how benefits are calculated, you should also know how long they last. You will receive a temporary income benefits check until one of the following situations occur:
You are able to earn the same amount of wages you did before your injury or illness
You reach your Maximum Medical Improvement, which means that your treating physician states that your overall improvement has stopped and active treatment is no longer needed or useful for your medical condition
104 weeks have passed since the first day you began earning less income because of your work injury or illness
When your TIBs run out, you can be examined to see whether or not you have any permanent impairment or disability. If so, you may be eligible to receive Impairment Income Benefits, and your workers’ compensation attorney can help you file for these benefits.
Helping You Recover
The aftermath of a work injury can turn your world upside down and impact the lives of you and your entire family. You shouldn’t have to pay out-of-pocket for doing your job. We are here to take the stress off of your shoulders so you don’t have to worry so much about making sure your bills are paid for.
If you or a loved one is injured in a workplace accident, The Edwards Law Firm is here to help you recover financially, physically, and emotionally. While your company and its insurance company will be looking out for their own best interests, we will be looking out for yours.
Contact our firm at (361) 541-6333 to schedule your free consultation. You can also fill out our online contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible!