If you are interested in applying for workers’ compensation benefits, you may be interested in the different types of benefits available to workers in New Hampshire. You may be wondering about the differences between indemnity benefits, temporary total disability (TTD) benefits, and diminished earning capacity (DEC) benefits. At Ward Law Group, we focus a large part of our practice of helping clients apply for disability benefits.
Indemnity Wage Benefits in New Hampshire
Indemnity benefits are payments made to injured workers for protection against damage or loss. Workers’ compensation insurance provides workers with immediate restitution after they have been injured while performing normal job duties. Workers’ compensation pays out indemnity payments to qualified workers on a weekly basis in New Hampshire.
The amount of the indemnity payments is based on the worker’s average weekly wage before he or she became injured on-the-job. There are two different kinds of indemnity payments — temporary wage replacement and permanent wage replacement benefits.
These two categories of wage replacement benefits are broken down even further. For example, temporary benefits include both temporary total disability payments (TTD) and temporary partial disability payments (TPD). Additionally, permanent disability indemnity benefits include permanent total disability (PTD) and permanent partial disability benefits (PPD).
Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD)
New Hampshire workers who suffer an injury at work and are unable to return to work for over three days are eligible for temporary total disability benefits. When workers in New Hampshire are unable to return to work for 14 days or longer, they will receive temporary total disability benefits of 60% of their wages. Currently, workers who qualify for temporary total disability benefits can receive between $251.10 and $1,255.50. They will receive temporary total disability benefits as long as their disability continues and they are unable to work.
Diminished Earning Capacity Benefits (DEC)
Employees who become partially disabled due to an on-the-job injury may be entitled to temporary partial disability benefits if the employee continues to work. If the employee does not continue to work, he or she may be able to receive diminished earning capacity benefits. To receive diminished earning capacity benefits, the worker must prove the absence of an available opportunity to work.
How does the state calculate the amount of diminished earning capacity benefits? Payments consist of 60% of the difference between the employee’s average weekly wage at the time of injury and 80% of New Hampshire’s minimum wage at the time of the injury. They use the average number of hours the worker worked per week to determine the minimum wage amount. Employees are only eligible to receive partial disability benefits for up to 262 weeks.