is incapacity to work that is reasonably expected to be cured or
materially improved with proper medical treatment." Chavira v. WCAB (1991) 235 Cal. App. 3d 463.
"Temporary disability indemnity is intended to
replace lost wages, and
permanent disability indemnity provides compensation for loss of
earning capacity or physical impairment." Rivera v. WCAB (2003) 112 Cal.App.4th 1124.
"An employer is under
a statutorily imposed duty to pay temporary disability
compensation for the period during which an injured
employee, while unable to work, is undergoing medical diagnostic
procedure and treatment for an industrial injury." Braewood Convalescent Hospital v. WCAB (1983) 34 Cal.3d 159, 168.
When payable: Temporary
disability is payable if a worker cannot work due to a
work injury or can do modified work but none is available,
and the worker is not yet
and stationary." Labor Code §4650 provides: (a) If an injury causes temporary disability, the first
payment of temporary disability indemnity shall be made
not later than 14 days after knowledge of the injury and
disability, on which date all
indemnity then due shall be paid, unless liability for
the injury is earlier denied." There is a waiting period in Labor Code
temporary disability indemnity is recoverable for the disability
suffered during the first
three days after the employee leaves work as a result of
the injury unless temporary disability continues for more
than 14 days or the
employee is hospitalized as an inpatient for treatment
required by the injury, in either of which cases temporary
disability indemnity shall be payable from the date of
purposes of calculating the waiting period, the day of
the injury shall be included unless the employee was paid
full wages for that day."
How calculated: See Average
Earnings and Labor Code §4453. There are two
ways that the benefit may be increased: 1) under Labor Code §4661.5 if
the worker was maximum for temporary disability, two years
have passed since the date of injury, and the rates have
increased under Labor Code §4453 or 2)
there was a wage increase that was scheduled or reasonably
anticipated at the time of injury (see Grossmont
Hosp. v. WCAB under Cases below).
When TD ends: Temporary
disability ends when the worker returns to work or is declared permanent and stationary.
stationary status” is the point when the employee has reached
maximal medical improvement, meaning his or her condition
is well stabilized,
and unlikely to change substantially in the next year with
or without medical treatment.
It also ends by operation of law after a certain number of
payments with some exceptions (see LC §4656). There are 9 exceptions
to the weeks limitations for injuries on or after April
19, 2004, allowing 240 compensable weeks within a period
of five years from the date of the injury.
Once TD has ended, if the employee has permanent disability for which continuing
care is needed, the employer does not need to pay temporary disability to compensate the worker for time off from work while
pursuing that treatment: See Supreme Court decision Dept. of Rehab. v. WCAB (Lauher) (2003) 30 Cal.4th 1281.
Overpayment of TD: Credit
for alleged overpayment of temporary disability may be
allowed, depending on the facts, but it is up to the
Workers' Compensation Appeals Board. Unilateral taking
of credit by the adjuster
can result in penalties and/or sanctions under Labor Code §§5814 and 5813. See Credit