Glossary of Workers' Compensation Terms

Workers compensation statutes vary from state to state; however, the terms used are considered to be equivalent in any jurisdiction. The following is a glossary of some common workers' compensation terms.

Average Daily Wage (ADW): A calculation of an injured worker's average daily earnings.  This term is sometimes used to determine entitlement to wage loss benefits following an injury.

Average Weekly Wage (AWW): A similar calculation to the ADW in determining the entitlement to wage loss benefits by week for a fixed period of time.

Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE): A comprehensive battery of performance-based tests that are commonly used to determine ability for work, activities of daily living, or leisure activities.

Independent Medical Examination (IME): A physician referred by an employer and insurance company to obtain an objective evaluation of the injured employee's health.

Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): Benefits to an employee who has sustained a permanent, but not complete, disability.

Permanent Total Disability (PTD): Benefits if an injured employee is permanently and totally disabled from work.

Physical Therapy (PT): A benefit, which many injured employees are entitled to receive as a form of treatment to recover from injuries.

Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI): Benefits payable to disabled individuals through the Social Security Administration.

Statewide Average Weekly Wage (SAWW): A computation of average wages paid to employees in a jurisdiction for a set period of time. It is typically used to calculate the minimum and maximum amounts of workers compensation benefits that an injured employee will be entitled to receive.

Temporary Partial Disability (TPD): Benefits available to injured employees who are able to work despite their injuries.

Temporary Total Disability (TTD): Benefits available to employees whose injuries leave them totally unable to work for a period of time.

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR): A variety of services that are offered to injured employees to help them return to work following a work injury, e.g. educational courses.

Work Hardening/conditioning: A work related, intensive, goal-oriented treatment program specifically designed to restore an individual's systemic, neuromusculoskeletal and cardiopulmonary functions. The objective of the work conditioning program is to restore the injured employee's physical capacity and function for return to work.

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