Compensation is Based on Average Weekly Wage
If you are injured at work and unable to do your job for three days or longer, you are eligible for disability benefits under the Defense Base Act (DBA). These benefits are paid to you 14 days after your employer is notified of your injury. So, make sure you let your employer know that you were hurt and are unable to work. You will need to do this in writing using form LS 201.
There are four types of disability compensation benefits under the DBA:
- Temporary Total
- Temporary Partial
- Permanent Total with annual increases
- Permanent Partial
Regardless of whether your disability is partial or full, temporary or permanent, your compensation is based on your average weekly wage or AWW. All compensation is subject to a Maximum Compensation Rate, which is adjusted each year on October 1. The current rate is $1,436.48 per week.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD): Temporary total disability is granted if your injury leaves you completely unable to work for a short period of time. TDD benefits equal two-thirds of your AWW for the period that you are unable to work.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD): A person is considered to have a temporary partial disability if he is able to work, but cannot work as many hours as usual or must do a lower-paying job. TPD benefits are calculated as 2/3 of the difference between the employee’s AWW and his earnings while partially disabled.
Permanent Total Disability (PTD): Permanent total disability benefits are awarded when an injury leaves you unable to work for an indefinite period of time. PTD calculated as two-thirds of your AWW. Permanent disability benefits are subject to an annual increase based on the U.S. national average weekly earnings. The adjustment is applied on October 1 of each year. Permanent disability benefits are payable as long as the disability continues.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): If you have a permanent partial disability, you are able to work, but you may be unable to do your former job. There are two ways PPD is calculated. If you have a scheduled disability, you will receive a percentage of your AWW for a predetermined period of time. The percentage is based on your disability rating. If you have an unscheduled disability, you will receive 2/3 of the difference between your AWW and your current earnings.
Determining the appropriate disability compensation can be difficult. If you don’t agree with your employer’s assessment of your disability, you should seek a second opinion. The Defense Base Act attorneys at The Turley & Mara Firm can help. We offer a FREE consultation to discuss your case.