Reversing a decision of the state’s Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of New Mexico held that an injured employee’s eligibility for TTD benefits is not limited to 500 or 700 weeks—depending upon the severity of the disability—as is the case for permanent partial disability benefits (see N.M. Stat. Ann. § 52-1-42(A), but rather may continue until either the employee reaches MMI or returns to work at his or her pre-injury wage. Accordingly, it is possible for such TTD benefits to continue for the life of the injured employee. The court observed that the state’s Workers’ Compensation allowed lifetime benefits for total disability—whether temporary or permanent—and only limited the duration of partial disability benefits—whether temporary or permanent. The court added that the Act contemplated that in most cases the employee would not actually receive TTD in perpetuity, that an employee might move in and out of entitlement to TTD benefits based on the particular medical situation.
Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is a leading commentator and expert on the law of workers’ compensation.
LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to lexis.com.
See Fowler v. Vista Care, 2014 N.M. LEXIS 169 (June 5, 2014) [2014 N.M. LEXIS 169 (June 5, 2014)]
See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 80.03 [80.03]
Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law.
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