Indiana Code 22-3-3-7 states:
“Once begun, temporary total disability benefits may not be terminated by the employer unless:”
- employee has returned to work,
- employee has died,
- employee has refused a medical examination or suitable employment,
- employee has received 500 weeks of TTD or the maximum compensation,
- employee is unable/unavailable for work for reasons unrelated to the injury.
“In all other cases, the employer must notify the employee in writing of the employer’s intent to terminate the payment of temporary total disability benefits * * * on a form approved by the board.”
Form 38911 is the form approved by the Board and the TTD may not terminate until four days after Form 38911 has been mailed.
Some employers, third-party administrators, and insurers are anticipatorily terminating TTD benefits as of the date of an upcoming medical appointment on the chance that the employee will be released to and does return to work or will be deemed to be at Maximum Medical Improvement. If the anticipated event does not occur, then the TTD benefit is reinstated. But, the process of termination and reinstatement often results in a delay in the receipt of the TTD benefit by the employee. Such termination and delay are not consistent with Indiana law. It is not a termination based upon one of the five statutory reasons noted above and it is not a termination with notice pursuant to Form 38911.
The employer, third-party administrator or insurer must have evidence of a statutory basis for the termination of TTD benefits before the payment of TTD benefits may be terminated. The termination of TTD benefits because such evidence might become available at an upcoming medical appointment is not an appropriate basis for the termination of TTD benefits.