Temporary Disability Benefits in Mississippi
Temporary disability benefits represent a substitute for wages lost by the employee during the period of . . . recovery from injury. If the employee is still technically in recovery, but has returned to work and is suffering no loss of wages, then temporary disability benefits are not payable.
To further refine the point, benefits for temporary total disability are payable when the employee is completely unable to engage in work and is therefore suffering a total, yet temporary, loss of wage earning capacity. Miss. Code Ann. 71-3-17(b) (Rev. 1995). Benefits for temporary partial disability are payable when the employee is able to work, but is not earning full pay and is therefore suffering a partial, yet temporary, decrease in wage earning capacity. Miss. Code Ann. 71-3-21 (Rev. 1995).
In Hendershot v. Weiser Security Systems, Inc., MWCC 97-08017-G-0280 (May 25, 1999), the administrative judge had credited against the amount that would be paid as benefits the total wages paid the claimant during that same period.
The Court quoted the Commission's analysis in Hendershot as to why that was error: