Temporary Disability benefits are payments made to employees who are unable to work or whose ability to work is reduced due to a work-related injury or illness. These benefits provide partial wage replacement while the employee recovers and are a key component of the workers' compensation system.


Types of Temporary Disability Benefits

1. Temporary Total Disability (TTD):

  • Definition: TTD is provided when an employee is entirely unable to work due to their injury.
  • Duration: Benefits are paid until the employee returns to work or the medical condition becomes stable and is not expected to improve further (Maximum Medical Improvement).

2. Temporary Partial Disability (TPD):

  • Definition: TPD is applicable when an employee can return to work but with restrictions or reduced hours, leading to lower earnings than before the injury.
  • Duration: TPD benefits are provided to make up the difference between the pre-injury and post-injury earnings, subject to certain limits.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for TD benefits, the following conditions must be met:

  • The injury or illness must be work-related.
  • A doctor must certify that the employee cannot perform their usual job duties for more than three days or is hospitalized overnight.
  • The employee must be receiving medical treatment for the injury.

Benefit Calculation

TD benefits are calculated based on the employee's average weekly earnings prior to the injury. Here are the key points:

  • TTD Benefits: Typically, TTD pays two-thirds (66.67%) of the employee’s average weekly wage, up to a maximum amount set by law. For 2024, the weekly maximum is $1,711.22, and the minimum is $230.95.
  • TPD Benefits: TPD compensates two-thirds of the difference between the employee's pre-injury wages and post-injury wages.

Duration and Limitations

  • Maximum Duration: TD benefits are generally payable for up to 104 weeks within a five-year period from the date of the injury. However, there are exceptions for certain serious injuries, where benefits may extend up to 240 weeks.
  • End of Benefits: Payments end when the employee returns to work at full capacity, is deemed medically stable, or reaches the maximum duration allowed.

Filing for Temporary Disability

To initiate a claim for TD benefits:

  • Report the Injury: Immediately notify your employer about the injury.
  • Medical Certification: Obtain a certification from your treating physician stating your work restrictions or inability to work.
  • File a Claim: Complete a workers' compensation claim form (DWC-1) and submit it to your employer.

Additional Resources

For more detailed information on Temporary Disability benefits, you can visit the following resources:

  • California Department of Industrial Relations - Workers' Compensation
  • https://www.cwci.org/ California Workers' Compensation Institute
  • Guide to Workers' Compensation in California

This memo provides an informational guide to understanding Temporary Disability benefits under California's workers' compensation system and it is not intended as legal advice. For any specific legal advice or assistance, please contact our highly competent and knowledgeable attorneys.