Retroactive and Waiting Periods
Retroactive and Waiting Periods for Workers Comp temporary total disability (TTD) are supposed to heavily affect the time that an injured worker stays out of work – or do they? Yesterday’s article covered if Waiting Periods are actually still valid in today’s world.
Most waiting periods in Workers Comp are 7 days. Most retroactive periods are 21 days. The waiting periods are very state-specific.
An interesting study was performed by a group of Liberty Mutual researchers. The study was published in the Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Medicine. The subject matter was low back pain injury data from 49 states’ WC programs.
I read over the study quite a few times. What I gathered from the results is that there is a trend that shows that longer retroactive and waiting periods result in injured employees staying out of work longer.
However, the amount of claims in which this situation even occurs is so small (5%) that is was not significant as far as a cost factor. Feel free to consult the study using the previous link.
Chart #3 in the study summarizes the findings.
One concern that I have is the motivated worker that returns to work quickly may be penalized by the retroactive and waiting periods in his/her claim.
Some companies and organizations have chosen to subsidize the waiting period and pay the employee for their waiting period.
I do disagree with employers supplementing the injured employee’s’ TTD for the 1/3 reduction in their pay while out of work. See this J&L blog article for the reason to not pay supplements.
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