What Is Workers’ Compensation Temporary Total Disability?

Temporary Total Disability

Most workers in North Carolina who sustain injuries in a workplace accident and cannot immediately return to work are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ comp benefits include payment of all medical bills related to a workplace injury and reimbursement of a portion of wages lost while disabled and unable to work.

After seven days of missed work, an injured worker eligible for North Carolina workers’ compensation should receive temporary disability benefits. At this point, unless the worker has suffered a catastrophic injury, he or she will likely be classified as temporarily disabled and paid either:

  • Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD), which means the worker cannot earn a living.
  • Temporary Partial Disability Benefits, which means the worker can do some light-duty work but can’t do the same amount of work as before the injury and will earn less money.

Workers’ comp temporary disability benefits are meant to support an injured worker until the worker is able to return to work. Most injured workers receive medical benefits and temporary total disability payments while they recover from a significant workplace injury.

Disability payments should amount to about two-thirds of the pre-injury average weekly wage.

If you are being denied workers’ comp benefits or need help applying for benefits, speak to an experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible. The workers’ compensation attorneys at Hardison & Cochran serve injured workers. We offer a free consultation and will help you pursue all the benefits available to you by law. With multiple offices across North Carolina, the Hardison & Cochran legal team has workers’ compensation attorneys near you.

Eligibility Requirements for Workers’ Compensation Temporary Total Disability Payments

North Carolina workers may receive workers’ compensation wage replacement benefits if they are:

An employee of a business with three or more employees

  • Most injured workers who are full or part-time employees in North Carolina are covered by workers’ compensation disability benefits, including paid medical expenses after workplace accidents. Independent contractors are not considered employees. Employers of agricultural workers with fewer than ten employees, certain sawmill and logging operations, railroad employees, and domestic employees are not covered by workers’ compensation insurance.

Disabled for at least seven days by a work-related injury or illness

  • Disabled means the worker is unable to perform their job due to a work-related injury.

A work-related injury is one that occurs during the performance of the employee’s job duties.

To qualify for benefits because of a work-related illness, the employee must show that conditions of their employment caused them to contract the illness and that their employment exposed them to a greater risk of contracting the illness than the general public faces.

Temporary Total Disability means the injured employee is totally unable to work while recovering from their injury.

There is a seven-day waiting period for weekly benefits. An eligible employee must be disabled for seven days before wage replacement benefits begin. After being disabled for 21 days, the employee is eligible to collect benefits for the first seven days after their injury.

Workers’ Compensation Temporary Total Disability Benefits in North Carolina

A worker who qualifies for TTD benefits in North Carolina should receive:

  • Weekly wage-replacement payments equal to 66% of the average weekly wages they were paid prior to injury.
  • Payment of all medical bills related to the qualifying injury or illness.

TTD benefits to replace lost wages end when the employee has recovered enough to return to work or the treating physician certifies that the individual has reached maximum medical improvement. If you still have a disability after reaching maximum medical improvement, you may qualify for permanent disability benefits.

How To File a Workers’ Compensation Claim for TTD Benefits?

To file a claim for workers’ compensation, injured North Carolina workers must complete Form 18 (found here) and file it with the North Carolina Industrial Commission, which administers the N.C. workers’ compensation system. A workers’ compensation attorney at Hardison & Cochran can file the form for you if your employer has not already filed the form.

Upon being injured, you should report your injury to your supervisor or your employer’s human resources office and seek appropriate medical care. Your employer may tell you to obtain care from a doctor they have designated for work-related injuries. If the health care provider can provide care appropriate for the seriousness of your injury, you must obtain medical care from them.

When you see a health care provider, tell them your injury is related to your work and name your employer. This allows them to designate and bill treatment as a workers’ compensation claim.

As soon as it’s practical and within 30 days of the injury, advise your employer in writing of what happened to you. Provide the date and a description of the on-the-job accident, the names of any witnesses to the accident, and a brief description of your injury. You or someone helping you can notify your employer. Keep a copy of your written notification.

Follow the physician’s instructions for medical treatment. If you do not follow the doctor’s orders and keep follow-up appointments, your employer or your employer’s insurance carrier may seek to terminate your benefits.

If you qualify for temporary total disability benefits, you should start receiving wage replacement payments within 14 days of notifying your employer of your injury.

What To Do If Your Claim is Denied?

If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, North Carolina offers a multilevel appeals process, which includes mediation and an opportunity to present your claim at a hearing. The hearings are run like courtroom trials, with rules for introducing evidence and decisions made according to workers’ compensation law.

If you need to appeal a disputed claim, it is to your advantage to have experienced legal representation. As your attorneys, Hardison & Cochran would help you gather evidence to substantiate the extent of your work-related injury and need for medical care. We will work to help you pursue the full workers’ compensation benefits you are eligible to receive according to North Carolina law.

Contact a Workers’ Comp Lawyer in Raleigh, NC

The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act makes valuable assistance available to employees who have an on-the-job injury, including temporary total disability and temporary partial disability benefits. Unfortunately, some businesses and insurance administrators dispute valid work injury claims. The Raleigh workers’ compensation attorneys at Hardison & Cochran are ready to guide you through the NC workers’ compensation system and seek the full workers’ comp benefits available under North Carolina law. Don’t take an insurance company’s denial as the final answer.

Contact a Raleigh workers’ comp lawyer at 252-333-3333 or fill out our online contact form. Hardison & Cochran will respond to you within 24 hours to set up a free legal consultation to review your situation and discuss your legal options.

About the Author

Hardison & Cochran was established based on the conviction that a modern approach was essential in today’s legal landscape. Focused on delivering exceptional results through a skilled team, the firm prioritizes personal attention, integrity, and client needs. Each attorney, paralegal, and staff member is dedicated to this vision. Over three decades, with Ben Cochran overseeing daily operations, the firm has evolved into a highly respected practice.

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