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Workers Compensation Frequently Asked Questions

  • Workers Compensation in Wisconsin
  • Workers Compensation Benefits in Wisconsin
  • Social Security
  • Personal Injury
  • Workers Compensation Benefits Generally in Wisconsin
    What are Workers Compensation benefits?

    Injured workers may file a claim for the entitlement to several forms of benefits, including, but not limited to the following:

    - Temporary Total Disability (a.k.a. TTD)

    - Temporary Partial Disability (a.k.a. TPD)

    - Permanent Partial Disability (a.k.a. PPD)

    - Loss of Earning Capacity (a.k.a. TPD)

    - Retraining Program

    - Medical Expenses

    How is the Average Weekly Wage (AWW) calculated?

    The Average Weekly Wage is calculated by using one of two different mathematical forumulas:

    - Hourly Wage x 40 Hours/Week, Or

    - Gross Earnings 52 Weeks Prior to Injury / 52 Weeks

    The higher weekly wage of the two seperate equations establishes the average weekly wage. The average weekly wage is then utilized for purposes of calculating what workers compensation benefits are due for TTD, TPD, PPD, loss of earning capacity, and retraining.

    *Restrictions do apply when utilizing the gross earnings method to establish an average weekly wage. Please call for details.

    What are TTD benefits? TTD benefits compensates injured workers for the loss of his/her wage when completely off of work, at the advice of their doctor. The benefits are intended to compensate workers at two/thirds of their average weekly wage. A worker is only eligible for TTD benefits while healing from the effects of their work injury and/or work exposure. It should be noted that the State of Wisconsin has imposed caps on the amount that can be claimed for TTD, dependent upon the year of injury. TTD benefits are typically paid out on a weekly basis.
    How are TTD benefits calculated?

    TTD benefits are calculated by utilizing the following equation:

    Average Weekly Wage (a.k.a. AWW) x 2/3=$ Benefits/Week

    TTD benefits are capped, depending upon the year an employee was injured

    What are TPD benefits? Similiar to TTD benefits, an employee is eligible for TPD benefits while healing from a work injury. An injured worker is eligible for TPD when his/her work restrictions impacts upon their ability to earn their full average weekly wage.
    What is the difference between TPD and TTD benefits? The difference between TPD and TTD is that you must be completely off of work in order to receive TTD benefits. In the event that an injured worker works a partial week, and earns less than their AWW, the TPD benefits will apply.
    How are TPD benefits calculated?

    TPD benefits are calculated using a more complex formula than its TTD counterpart. The TPD calculation must also factor in any wages earned during the week in question. Please call for further details in relation to this topic.

    Is there pain and suffering in Workers Compensation?

    Yes and No. Pain and suffering are no specifically compensated. There is no direct compensation available for the financial hardships a work injury may cause, nor for the frustration in dealing with the workers compensation carrier, doctor offices, etc. Rather, an injured worker gets compensated for present and future pain, weakness, effects of surgery, etc. by means of an assessment of permanent partial disability (PPD), loss of earning capacity (LOEC), or by means of a retraining program.

    What are PPD benefits? Permanent Partial Disability benefits are awarded to an injured worker who has sustained permanent damage from the effects of a work injury. The amount of benefits to which an injured worker is entitled is determined by a PPD rating. The PPD rating is expressed as a percentage, and should be assessed by your treating doctor/surgeon at the point when you have reached a healing plateau from the work injury or work exposure. PPD benefits are typically paid out on a monthly basis (i.e. 4.33 weeks of payments, sent out in one lump sum check each month).
    What is a healing plateau? A healing plateau is another way of describing that you have reached a point in your medical treatment where your condition is no longer improving. It is often referred to as the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI). Generally speaking, a healing plateau is reached when your doctor is ready to release you from his/her care. However, it is still possible to reach a plateau and still be getting treatment. If your treatment is intended to relieve pain, as opposed toimproving function (e.g. if you are receiving steroid injections 2 years after a low back fusion procedure), then you are likely treating for a permanent condition.
    How are PPD benefits calculated? Like TTD benefits, PPD benefits are capped. The maximum allowable PPD rate is dependent upon the year of your injury. In addition, the calculation is body part specific, and pays out at a lower weekly rate than TTD. The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) assigns a certain number of applicable weeks to various maladies. The percentage of PPD assessed by your treating doctor is then multiplied to the number of weeks applicable to your specific condition, in order to determine the monetary amount of your PPD benefits.
    What are some of the more common number of weeks associated with their respective body parts?

    - Back: 1000 wks

    - Neck: 1000 wks

    - Respiratory/Lung: 1000 wks

    - Loss of arm at the Shoulder: 500 wks

    - Loss of arm at the Elbow: 450 wks

    - Loss of leg at the Knee: 425 wks

    - The loss of hand at the Wrist: 400 wks

    What are some examples of PPD calculatations?

    - 8% PPD to the Wrist (2003 Injury Date): $212/wk x 0.08 x 400 wks = $6,784.00

    - 12% PPD to the Shoulder (1999 Injury Date): $184/wk x 0.12 x 500 wks = $11,040.00

    - 30% PPD for a respiratory condition (2005 Injury Date): $242/wk x 0.30 x 1000 wks = $72,600.00

    - 50% PPD for a back condition (2004 Injury Date): $232/wk x 0.50 x 1000 wks = $116,000.00

    Can I get higher assessment of PPD if I have had surgery? In some instances, Yes. The DWD has established minimum PPD assessments for certain forms of surgeries. Surgeries for more minor conditions, such as carpal tunnel, do not have minimum assessments. Others have minimum assessments associated with the body part and form of surgery.
    What are some examples of surgial operations associated with minimum PPD ratings?

    - Back or Neck discectomy: 5% PPD

    - Knee meniscectomy: 5% PPD

    - Back or Neck discectomy and fusion: 10% PPD

    - Partial Hip Replacement: 35% PPD

    - Total Hip Replacement: 40% PPD

    - Partial Knee Replacement: 45% PPD

    - Total Knee Replacement: 50% PPD

    - Shoulder Replacement: 50% PPD

    Workers Compensation Benefits for Loss of Job: Loss of Earning Capacity and Retraining in Wisconsin
    Are there benefits available that will compensate me for the loss of my job due to a work injury? Yes, there are several different options for injured employees who have lost their job due a work injury. The two most common claims are for loss of earning capacity and retraining.
    What is a loss of earning capacity (LOEC)?

    Loss of earning capacity is an additional benefit designed to compensate injured employees for a loss of a job, or reduction in wage, due to his/her work injury and permanent work restrictions. Only injuries to certain body parts, however, are potentially eligible for a loss of earning capacity claim. Like PPD, loss of earning capacity benefits are paid outon a monthly basis (4.33 weeks of benefits paid out in a lump sum monthly), and they are capped at the PPD rate associated with the injury date (unless the loss of earning capacity claim is one for Permanent and Total Disability, which is discussed later in this section).

    Am I eligible for loss of earning capacity benefits?

    The answer to this question is situation dependent. You must satisfy certain criteria to be eligible to bring a claim for loss of earning capacity. This criteria includes issues such as the body part injured, the extent of the wage loss, whether permanent restrictions exist, and the cirumstances surrounding the job loss.

    A loss of earning capacity claim requires the expertise of a vocational expert. Please call for further details.

    What benefits am I entitled to if I am permanently unable to remain employed on a reasonable and predictable basis, due to the advice of my doctor?

    You may eligible for a form of loss of earning capacity called Permanent and Total Disability (PTD), if you meet very specific criteria as defined by the Wisconsin Statutes.

    Please call us for details

    How does a claim for loss of earning differ from a claim for permanent and total disability?

    Permanent and total disability is simply a more valuable form of a loss of earning capacity claim. Rather than arguing that your permanent work restrictions will have an adverse effect on your ability to earn money in the future (as is the case with a LOEC claim), we are arguing that you are unable to work in fashion due to your work restrictions.

    The benefits are paid out for the remainder of your life! In addition, benefits are paid out at the applicable TTD rate (2/3 of your wage when injured - up to the maximum allowable rate), which, in majority of cases, is significantly higher than the payout for PPD or a loss of earning capacity for anything less than PTD (or 100% LOEC).

    How are PTD benefits calculated?

    Weekly PTD benefits are calculated by utilizing the same equation as we use for TTD.

    Average Weekly Wage (a.k.a. AWW) x 2/3= $ Benefits/wk FOR LIFE!

    TTD/PTD benefits are capped, depending upon the year an employee was injured

    What is a retraining claim?

    For injured employees who are so disabled by virtue of their work injury, as to be unable to return to employment for which they are qualified (by way of their employment history and educational background), a potential retraining benefit exists under the Workers Compensation Act. This benefit allows you to receive TTD benefits during the time you are attending school, with the cooperation of the Wisconsin Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

    Please contact us for further details

  • Workers Compensation in Wisconsin
  • Workers Compensation Benefits in Wisconsin
  • Social Security
  • Personal Injury

  • Disclaimer:

    The content on this webpage is provided for information purposes only. Many of the issues covered in this section are situation specific. The content on this site is not intended to be legal advice, nor is it provided with the intention of assuming representation for prospective clients. Any person viewing this page is strongly encouraged to contact our office for clarification, and for situation specific legal advice.

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