Do Low TTD Maximums Encourage High PPD Utilization?: Re-Examining the Conventional Wisdom


January 1, 1992 Related Topics: Other

Permanent partial disability (PPD) claims are the most expensive and litigious claims in workers’ compensation systems. They also cause the most dissatisfaction. Some states make PPD awards far more frequently than others. In New York and Georgia, for example, these claims represent at least 30 to nearly 40 percent of all lost time claims; in Virginia and Connecticut, only about 20 percent.

Conventional wisdom says that states award more PPD claims because they have low maximum weekly benefits for temporary disability. When maximum benefits are low, adjudicators may grant permanency benefits more generously. Workers too may be trying to "make up" for low maximums by applying for permanent benefits instead.

The study, using data from the early 1980s, tests this wisdom for Connecticut, Georgia, New York, and Virginia and finds no statistically reliable support. Given the study’s limits, of course, this finding is not definitive; further research clearly is needed.

Do Low TTD Maximums Encourage High PPD Utilization: Re-Examining the Conventional Wisdom. Dr. John A. Gardner. January 1992. WC–92–2.

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