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Definition of Lost Time

Lost time is the period of time that a worker misses when they have a work-related injury or illness. In most states, in order to eliminate minor claims for temporary disability, there is a three-day waiting period which is counted in different ways by different states. In some states, if your inability to work lasts more than 7 days, you will receive temporary disability benefits that include the three day waiting period. In other states, your disability has to prevent you from working for more than 14 days, in which case you will be paid for the entire time including the three-day waiting period.

The amount that you receive will be determined by how much lost time is involved. If you have a temporary total disability, it means that you will not be able to work at all. You will be paid for your lost time until you return to work. If you have a temporary partial disability, you will receive a lesser amount because you will be working at a lesser paying job or fewer hours as a result of your temporary partial disability. The period of time in which you can receive lost time benefits varies from state to state. If your are still disabled at the end of that period of time and your disability is presumed to be permanent, your benefits will be switched to either permanent total disability or permanent partial disability benefits.

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