If a workers’ compensation case goes to trial before the plaintiff is deemed to have reached MMI, and the plaintiff carries his or her burden of proof regarding causation, the Workers’ Compensation Court will issue what is called a running TTD award. This basically states that the defendant is to continue paying weekly TTD benefits until such time as the plaintiff reaches MMI. In the future, even though all doctors may agree that the plaintiff now has reached MMI, the defendant cannot stop paying those weekly benefits until a petition for modification is filed. In other words, the defendant cannot unilaterally stop paying the TTD even though the plaintiff is clearly at MMI until the parties either stipulate that MMI has been reached and such stipulation is approved by the court, or until a petition for modification is filed by the defendant. Petitions for modification can only be filed six months or more after the entry of the original Award.
Therefore, in any case in which a prior running TTD Award has been entered, a stipulation approved by the court or a petition for modification must be filed before it can be stopped. Otherwise, there will be a 50% penalty added on to the amount of TTD that was not paid.