Differences Between Temporary Disability and Permanent Disability Benefits

Disability benefits are an essential part of workers’ compensation systems worldwide, intended to provide financial support to injured or ill workers who cannot perform their job functions due to a work-related injury or illness.

These systems have two main categories of disability benefits: temporary and permanent. Although both types of benefits seek to assist affected workers, they differ in their objectives and duration.

Differences Between Temporary Disability and Permanent Disability Benefits

Temporary disability benefits are awarded to workers who suffer an injury or illness that makes them temporarily unable to perform their jobs. This means that, based on the medical evaluation, the worker is expected to recover and be able to return to work at some point. During this period of temporary disability, the worker receives benefits that replace part of their wages lost due to disability.

These benefits are designed to help employees support themselves financially while they recover, and once they are deemed to have reached their full potential for improvement, temporary disability benefits cease.

In contrast, permanent disability benefits are intended for those workers who have reached their maximum capacity for improvement but still have a residual disability that permanently affects their ability to work.

These benefits are awarded based on the extent of the disability and can take various forms, from one-time payments to periodic benefits over time. The amount of permanent disability benefits often depends on factors such as the injury’s severity, the worker’s age, and the profession, among others.

The most crucial difference between these two types of benefits lies in their duration. Temporary disability benefits are provisional and are awarded while the worker recovers, with the expectation that he or she will return to work at some point.

On the other hand, permanent disability benefits are granted when it is considered that recovery has reached its maximum point and the disability will persist. This distinction reflects the primary purpose of each type of benefit: temporary ones provide support during recovery, while permanent ones make up for long-term income loss due to disability.