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How Much Does Workers’ Compensation Pay for Lost Wages?

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Posted By KSK Law | February 28 2023 | Workers' Comp

In Minnesota, workers who are injured or become ill while performing their job duties are generally eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits are designed to provide financial support to workers who are unable to work while recovering from their injury or illness.

Regarding lost wages, workers can claim two main categories of benefits. Temporary disability benefits cover wages lost during the initial recovery period, while permanent disability benefits compensate for any lasting disabilities that affect the employee’s ability to work. 

Temporary Total Disability Benefits

Temporary total disability (TTD) benefits are available to workers who are completely unable to work due to their work-related injury or illness. These benefits are generally calculated as two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage before the injury, subject to certain caps and limits. 

The maximum weekly benefit amount for TTD in Minnesota is set annually by the state and is based on the statewide average weekly wage (SAWW). As of 2023, the maximum weekly benefit for temporary total disability is equal to $1,619.15.

These benefits will stop when:

  • When the employee is capable of returning to work 
  • 90 days after reaching Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) as determined by a doctor
  • After receiving benefits for 130 weeks, unless the employee is participating in an approved retraining program

Temporary Partial Disability Benefits

Employees who can work following their injury but are unable to earn as much money may be eligible for temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits. These benefits are equal to two-thirds of the difference between the worker’s pre-injury wage and his or her current wage.  For example, if the employee earned $1,000 per week and now earns $500, his or her TPD award would be $333.33.

The maximum weekly benefit amount for TPD in Minnesota is also based on the SAWW and is adjusted annually. TPD benefits will stop after 250 weeks or when 450 weeks have passed since the injury, whichever date comes first.

Permanent Total Disability Benefits

If a worker’s injury or illness is so severe that he or she is permanently unable to work, he or she may be eligible for permanent total disability (PTD). PTD benefits will last as long as you are considered totally disabled. 

Similar to TPD, these benefits are generally calculated as two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage before the injury. However, they must be at least 65% of the SAWW. Once the employee has received $25,000, the state may reduce the weekly payments to offset any other government disability benefits that he or she receives for the same injuries. 

Permanent Partial Disability Benefits

If a worker suffers permanent impairments but is not totally disabled, he or she may receive permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits. When a worker reaches MMI, his or her doctor will provide a total body impairment rating, which is expressed as a percentage. 

This rating will be used to calculate the PPD benefits that the worker will receive. PPD payments are equal to the impairment rating multiplied by a dollar amount based on a compensation schedule. This dollar amount depends on the specific injury in question.

Contact a Minnesota Workers’ Comp Attorney

If you have sustained a workplace injury, you deserve fair compensation for the losses that you have suffered, including lost wages. A Minneapolis workers’ compensation attorney can fight for your right to full benefits. Contact a lawyer as soon as possible after your workplace injury to discuss your case and plan your next steps.

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