Simply Begin Again-Starting Up Temporary Total Disability After a Return to Work

To those of you who read this blog regularly, I apologize for the lack of content for the past month of so.  Preparing seminar materials and the holidays got in the way of regularly posting.  So, in keeping with the title, this post is dedicated to the idea of simply beginning again.  It’s a concept I’ve become very familiar with through years of training for triathlons: finishing an event, stopping exercising, and having to start all over again-from scratch.   I make it a practice to promise myself just to put on my running gear, run to the end of the street, and run back for a nice cup of coffee.  The runs get slowly longer as time goes by.  This post is my equivalent of running to the end of the block.

As you know, temporary total disability compensation stops if:

  • The worker returns to work;
  • The injured worker’s doctor indicates that they can return to their former position of employment-or the employer obtains an independent medical examination and files a motion to terminate TTD;
  • The employer makes work available that meets the injured worker’s physical restrictions;
  • The injured worker has reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). This means the allowed conditions have stabilized and no improvements and/or changes can be expected with reasonable medical probability;
  • The injured worker is incarcerated;
  • The injured worker voluntarily abandons employment.

If the allowed conditions in the claim again become independently disabling, the injured worker is entitled to return to temporary total disability compensation.

Ohio law used to provide that, if an injured worker was not capable of performing the duties of his or her former position of employment, voluntarily abandonment did not bar them from receiving TTD in the future.  That changed with the Supreme Court’s decision in Klein v. Precision Excavating & Grading Co.  For more about the Klein decision, please see this post:  “If you quit your job, you can forget about Temporary Total Disability Compensation no matter what” says the Ohio Supreme Court.

So, there it is.  My equivalent of running to the end of the block.  Hopefully I’ll be back next week with another edition.

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