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Using Personal Time Off and Sick Days for a Workers' Compensation Claim

One of the most common questions in Workers’ Compensation is if you’re injured at work, should you ever be using your PTO or sick leave because of your injury? A work-related injury can sometimes become so confusing and full of unanswered questions.

One of the most important benefits of Workers’ Compensation is TTD (Temporary Total Disability), which pays out 2/3 of your average weekly wages while you can’t work due to your workplace injury but there is a cap.

In a perfect world, TTD would take care of everything, and you’d never use any of your paid time off to deal with Workers’ Compensation. In reality, the issue can be far more complex. Here are a few reasons injured workers sometimes wind up using their vacation time:

Insurance companies are notorious for their unethical behavior, and Workers’ Compensation insurance companies are no exception.

Workers’ Compensation claims are denied too often, leaving injured workers with no choice but to use paid time off and sick leave to go to doctor’s appointments or simply to recover. Even if your claim is eventually accepted, there is often a period of delay while the Workers’ Compensation insurance company reviews your case. These delay periods can sometimes be drawn out. Many workers also apply for State Disability while their case is delayed or denied. The good news is that an experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney will make sure you’re compensated for any time off you used in the form of retro-TTD (temporary total disability back-paid to the date of your injury).

There is a cap on how long you can receive TTD (Temporary Total Disability)

TTD is not indefinite. There is a 104-week cap on TTD benefits, which can be extended to 208 weeks in the case of certain severe injuries and illnesses. Some injured workers simply may not be well enough to return to work after hitting their cap for TTD benefits. If you are still recovering from your workplace injury but have no TTD left, it might be necessary to use whatever PTO you have accrued, in conjunction with SDI, in order to take care of yourself and your family.

If you are in this industry and have been affected by Covid-19, you can call today at 888-740-6434 or email

Pacific Workers', The Lawyers for Injured Workers is Northern California's Premier Workers' Compensation Applicant firm. We represent First Responders, Health Care Workers, Construction Workers, Retail Workers, Warehouse Workers, Delivery Drivers, and the other hard-working people that keep our community moving in their Fight for Justice against the Insurance Companies.

About the Author

MIchael Ullrich - Workers' Compensation Attorney

Attorney Michael J. Ullrich is an Associate Attorney at Pacific Workers' Compensation. His goal is to protect injured workers from companies that want to cut costs by lowballing their claims. When not fighting on behalf of his clients, he plays softball, going mountain biking, and discussing sports. 

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