Q & A – The injured worker has asked to supplement his/her temporary total disability payments by using accrued vacation/sick leave or paid time off. What should I do?

Q: The injured worker has asked to supplement his/her temporary total disability payments by using accrued vacation/sick leave or paid time off. What should I do?

A: This depends upon state law.  For example, Colorado law neither prohibits nor requires that an employer allow an injured worker to use vacation, sick leave, or paid time off (PTO) to supplement temporary total disability (TTD) benefits.  However, if an employer allows such a practice, it may create a situation where the injured worker is actually being paid more money while sitting home than they receive while working.  This situation has a negative impact on the injured worker’s desire to return to work.  The 66 2/3 percent TTD benefit paid to the injured worker is untaxed and usually approximates the normal net take home pay of the employee when the employee is working.