Today’s post comes from guest author Brianne Rohner, from Rehm, Bennett & Moore.
Every profession has certain turns of phrase or acronyms they use on a daily basis that, to the layperson, mean very little and may only serve to add confusion to an already difficult issue. The legal profession and the representation of injured workers is no different. Injured workers often find themselves traveling down a confusing road armed only with directions written in an unfamiliar or foreign-sounding language. The experienced attorneys at our firm navigate clients down this road on a daily basis.
Below is a list of commonly used acronyms to assist in understanding what is happening with your workers’ compensation case when everyone around you is suddenly speaking another language. Please keep in mind that the accompanying definitions are very general, and you should seek the advice of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney for more information or assistance with your case. Please also see the links for other blog posts for more information on some of these issues.
- TTD stands for Temporary Total Disability. TTD benefits are paid at a rate of 2/3 of your average weekly wage and should be paid for each week you are not able to work because of your injury until you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement (see below for definition). This previous blog post adds details to how TTD works: http://workerscompensationwatch.com/2012/01/don%E2%80%99t-get-short-changed-on-your-work-comp-disability-payments/
- TPD stands for Temporary Partial Disability. TPD benefits are paid at a rate of 2/3 of the difference between your earning power before your injury and your earning power after. A typical example of a situation involving TPD is when your doctor restricts the number of hours you may work per day or per week. Another common example is payment for missed time while undergoing physical therapy or medical treatment.
- PTD stands for Permanent Total Disability. PTD benefits are paid at a rate of 2/3 of your average weekly wage or wages for a minimum 40-hour week (this may depend on how you are paid), whichever is higher, for as long as you remain disabled. Generally, PTD is paid when, because of an injury, you cannot earn wages in the same kind or similar work for which you have been trained or are accustomed to performing, or any other kind of work that a person of your mentality and attainments could do. This previous blog post adds details to how PTD works: http://workerscompensationwatch.com/2013/02/average-weekly-wage-decides-workers-comp-benefits/
- PPD stands for Permanent Partial Disability. PPD benefits are paid at a rate of 2/3 of your average weekly wage or wages for a minimum 40-hour week (this may depend on how you are paid), whichever is higher. PPD is either paid to compensate you for a loss of earning capacity (see definition below) or for a percentage of impairment sustained to a particular body part, which is usually assigned by your doctor. This previous blog post adds details to how PPD works: http://workerscompensationwatch.com/2012/01/four-things-you-should-know-about-carpal-tunnel-syndrome/
- MMI stands for Maximum Medical Improvement. MMI is generally the point at which your injury will not get any better or worse, and your condition is essentially fixed. Typically, your doctor determines when this point is reached. This is also the point where temporary benefits end and permanent benefits begin.
- LOEC stands for Loss of Earning Capacity. This is sometimes also referred to as Loss of Earning Power. This is generally a measurement of the difference between your ability to earn a living before your injury and after. This issue will only come up with certain types of injuries. These previous blog posts add details to how LOEC works: http://workerscompensationwatch.com/2011/10/when-do-i-need-an-attorney/ and http://workerscompensationwatch.com/2012/09/how-apportionment-relates-to-a-new-workers-compensation-claim/
- VR or VRC stands for Vocational Rehabilitation or Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. In certain circumstances, you may be entitled to help with finding a new job, training, or additional schooling. Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors assist with this process and may also help determine an injured worker’s loss of earning capacity (see definition above). These previous blog posts add details to how VR works: http://workerscompensationwatch.com/2011/10/truckers-are-often-entitled-to-benefits-from-multiple-states/ and http://workerscompensationwatch.com/2012/12/2013-centennial-year-for-workers-compensation-in-nebraska/
- FCE stands for Functional Capacity Evaluation. This is an evaluation performed by a physical therapist who is trained to help determine what type of permanent work restrictions you will require.
- IME stands for Independent Medical Examination. This is an evaluation performed by a doctor who is usually hired by a defendant insurance company to offer a second opinion. This exam may also be referred to as a Defense Medical Examination (DME). These previous blog posts add details to how IME/DME works: http://workerscompensationwatch.com/2012/02/workers-group-what-an-independent-medical-exam-really-means/ and http://workerscompensationwatch.com/2012/03/what-if-an-independent-medical-examination-doctor-doesnt-agree-with-my-doctor/