Temporary Disability & Other Payments
Temporary disability, or “TD,” refers to the healing period following a work injury. It is payable on accepted claims when your Primary Treating Physician finds you cannot return to your regular work and your employer does not offer modified work within your restrictions. The benefit is limited to 104 weeks unless you suffered an amputation, severe burns, or a few other conditions, in which case it is limited to 240 weeks within the five years following the injury. See Labor Code Section 4656. Governor Brown vetoed a bill that would have extended this exception to surgical cases.
If you reach “maximum medical improvement” or “MMI” or “permanent and stationary” status before the 104 weeks are paid, then temporary disability ends unless you have surgery or some other activation of the work injury within five years of the date of injury.
Unfortunately, some workers reach the 104 weeks and are still unable to work, or are not offered modified work, and are not yet ‘permanent and stationary.” Most workers are covered by State Disability Insurance (SDI). Apply for that before two years run out on the work injury. You may be turned down because you are receiving temporary disability payments, but you will be in the EDD computer and, if your doctor says you can not do your regular or customary work for at least 8 consecutive days, you may qualify.
Also look into Unemployment Insurance (UI) and check with Human Resources at your employer to see if you are covered under any Long Term Disability policies.
For some workers, the work injury prevents them from returning to gainful employment. Apply for Social Security Disability and look at the following:
- How to apply for SSDI, etc.
- How SSDI Benefits Interact with WC
- Factors in Evaluating SSDI Eligibility