Temporary disability, or TD, benefits refer to a type of workers’ compensation that you may receive if your work-related injury renders you unable to work in your usual capacity. Because the purpose of TD payments is to make up for lost wages, you will receive them in addition to medical care.
How much in TD benefits you will receive during your period of recovery depends on several factors, including the permanency of your injury, whether you can work at all during your recovery and your average weekly earnings. The California Department of Industrial Relations website explains how insurers calculate disability benefits.
Typical TD payments
Though not always the case, temporary disability benefits in California typically equal two-thirds of an injured party’s pretax wages. Insurers will calculate your lost earnings using all forms of income you received prior to your injury, including actual wages, tips, commissions, food and lodging reimbursements, bonuses and overtime. Insurers will also consider wages you may have lost from other jobs because of your injury.
The state of California does impose minimum and maximum weekly amounts. It adjusts these amounts annually.
TD for low-wage workers
California law entitles all workers to TD in the event of an injury, regardless of how much they earn. However, two-thirds of a low wage may result in an unlivable income. To offset this fact, the law sets the minimum TD payments at $160 per week.
Temporary disability can drastically increase your comfort during recovery. If you sustain an injury that renders you unable to work during your period of recovery, you may need to take steps to secure your rights to TD benefits.