DI 52120.085 Indiana Workers’ Compensation (WC)
A. Types of WC payments
Temporary Total (TT) - maximum period of 500 weeks
Temporary Partial (TP) - maximum period of 300 weeks
Permanent Total (PT) - maximum period of 500 weeks
Permanent Partial Impairment (PPI) – (code as PP) based on a one time medical assessment, so payable one time. PPI can be awarded independent of TT.
There is no maximum payable period. It may be paid in a lump sum upon agreement of the parties and approval of the WC Board. However, PPI is usually paid weekly. See DI 52120.085C. below.
All disability payments are paid weekly, unless the WC Board orders payment in biweekly or monthly installments. Back payments can be brought up to date by payment in a lump sum.
NOTE: Tort payments are not WC and do not cause offset. Tort payments are awarded based on civil lawsuits. For list of payments not considered WC, see DI 52105.015.
B. Cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs)
Indiana does not provide for cost of living increases on WC.
C. Attorney fees
Attorney fees are determined on an individual case basis subject to the approval of the WC board.
D. Retirement insurance benefit (RIB) considerations
Indiana does not offset WC for SSA retirement benefits
E. Important dates
07/01/1988 – 07/01/1991
For dates of injury that fall within this period, if Temporary Total (TT) is paid for over 78 weeks, the employer/carrier is eligible for a credit against any award of Permanent Partial Impairment (PPI)
07/01/1989 - 06/30/1991
For dates of injury that fall between this period,
Permanent Total (PT) is payable in
addition to TT payments for up to 125 weeks,
subject to the maximum compensation limits.
Refer to Indiana Workers’ Compensation Handbook maximum compensation limits (see References below)
Permanent Total (PT) are payable in addition to TT payments of up to 125 weeks, subject to the maximum compensation limits. Also, the employer/carrier is eligible for a credit against any award of PPI if TT is paid for over 125 weeks
Awards for any combination of PT, TT and TP are limited to a total of 500 weeks
F. Lump sum settlements
A disabled worker receiving TT may become entitled to a PPI award based on the established degree of permanent disability. These awards can only be made after it has been determined that the worker has reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI may also be referred to as “quiescence” or “permanence and quiescence".
PPI and TT are separate awards that can run concurrently from the date of injury. If there is no start date listed for the PPI, Indiana WC judges will make the PPI start date equal to the date of injury. The PPI start date may also be the MMI date. This is because the worker has 1 year from the last date for which compensation is paid to file for a Change of Condition. By making the PPI start date equal to the MMI date instead of the date of injury, the one-year period begins that much later. Thus, the period over which any such award is to be prorated for WC offset purposes will depend on whether or not these dates are specified in the award:
If no date is specified, prorate the PPI award starting with the date of the injury.
If dates are specified in the award, prorate based on those dates.
The compensation rate for both TT and PPI is based on two-thirds of the average weekly wage. If no PPI rate is specified, use the TT weekly rate to prorate the PPI lump-sum.
G. Second Injury Fund
The Second Injury Fund is designated to prevent discrimination in hiring workers who lost the use of an arm, hand, leg or foot. Reference: Ind. Code 22-3-3-13; http://www.state.in.us/legislative/ic/code/title22/ar3/ch3.html (need to scroll down until IC 22-3-3-13).
When a worker loses the use of any two of these parts of the body, the worker is considered totally impaired, because a loss of any two of these parts is compensated by an award of 100 degrees of impairment, or PT, whichever is greater. Employers are hesitant to hire a worker who had already lost the use of an arm, hand, foot or leg, for fear that a second injury would expose them to liability for an award of PT. The employer is held liable only to the extent of compensation due for the second injury. The Second Injury Fund is liable for the remainder of the compensation award.
In cases where a worker is permanently and totally disabled and exhausts the maximum compensation payable, the worker can apply to the Second Injury Fund for benefits. The Fund may award benefits at the rate of 66 2/3 percent of the worker’s average weekly wages at the time of injury, payable at six week intervals for a total of 150 weeks. If the worker remains permanently and totally disabled after 150 weeks, the worker may reapply to the Fund. Hearings are held to determine eligibility for benefit extensions. Reference: Ind. Code 22-3-3-13(d); 22-3-3-13(e).
H. Determining the status of pending WC court cases
The Worker's Compensation Board of Indiana website has a tool that can help ascertain the status of pending WC court cases without the need to follow-up with the worker. To use it, all you need to know is the first and last names of the worker.
After accessing the web page, click on the "Attorneys" on the left side of the page.
On this page, under Hearing Schedule, click Search Disputed Claims . There are a variety of possible searches. The easiest is to search by the worker’s name.
Enter the worker’s name and click the "QUERY" button.
If there is a pending or recently completed court case, the screen shows the name you input. If there are multiple entries, select the one that appears to correspond to your worker. Then click the "SUBMIT" button. Information about the parties to the case and the status of the litigation will come up. If nothing is currently available, you will receive a negative response.