Salary Continuation or Temporary Total Compensation, which should I choose?


An employee is injured on the job and cannot immediately return to work. Whether to offer salary continuation or permit temporary total disability compensation to be paid under the workers’ compensation claim is a question many employers face at this time. 

Temporary Total Disability Compensation

Temporary total disability compensation (TTD), is a benefit available to injured workers who temporarily cannot return to his or her former position of employment because of a work-related injury. In order to be eligible for TTD compensation, an injured worker must miss 8 or more days of work as a result of the work-related injury. 

Salary Continuation

Salary continuation allows an employer to pay an employee his or her regular full wages and benefits in lieu of TTD compensation. However, an injured worker has the option to accept or reject salary continuation payments, unless there is a collective bargaining agreement that states otherwise. And, salary continuation must be paid before TTD compensation is awarded, otherwise, it is forever barred from being paid in the claim.  If an employer is planning to pay salary continuation, it should follow the instructions on Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) form C-55.

One advantage of salary continuation is the potential to reduce your workers' compensation costs and future premiums. If TTD compensation is paid under the workers’ compensation claim, it raises the claim costs which could impact an employer’s future premiums and/or group status as the claim costs rise.  However, if salary continuation is paid from the outset of the claim, there are no claim costs attributable to lost time, and therefore, cannot negatively impact an employer’s future premiums or group impact. 

Accordingly, it is important for employers to be aware of how many workers’ compensation claims they have and whether the associated claim costs are nearing a pivot point at which salary continuation may, or may not, be helpful. 

If you are an employer that is faced with the decision between salary continuation and temporary total disability compensation, contact your workers’ compensation attorney to help you make a decision that is best for your situation. 

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