Compact Workers Comp Glossary

January 28, 2019

Workers Compensation terms can seem arcane and legalistic.

Although there are many special terms used in workers compensation insurance, these are basic. Though there are variations in terminology and procedure in every state, these definitions are widely used.


Temporary Partial Disability (TP)

Payments for temporary, but only partial, incapacity from work of an injured worker with a work-related injury or illness. During such a period, the worker is able to perform SOME types of work, as defined by his or her attending physician, but earns less than before the injury.

Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)

Payments for the permanent loss, or loss of use, of one or more body part(s) resulting from a work-related injury or illness to a worker who can still work, but whose ability to compete in the open labor market is reduced.

Temporary Total Disability (TT)

Payments for temporary, but total, incapacity from ANY type of work of an injured worker with a work-related injury or illness. A percentage of wages, usually two-thirds, are paid during the period of total disability.

Permanent disability (PD)

Payments to a worker when an injury or illness results in a permanent impairment that reduces the injured worker’s ability to compete in the labor market. The amount the injured worker will receive depends on the extent of the disability. Factors considered when calculating PD include the date of the injury, the age when injured, and occupation. PD benefit amounts are set by law.

Vocational rehabilitation (VR)

Once a physician determines that an injured worker is medically eligible and unable to return to his or her previous type of work, the employer and worker jointly select a rehabilitation counselor who will determine whether vocational rehabilitation is feasible, and if appropriate, develop a suitable rehabilitation plan. The goal of a rehabilitation plan is to return the injured worker to suitable, gainful employment. The benefits are paid if it is unlikely the worker will be able to return working the same job held prior to his/her injury and the employer does not offer other work.



Accident Report

Form required to be filed by an employer in cases of an employee’s work-related injury or illness that results in incapacity from work of one day or more. An accident report is NOT a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, although it usually gets things started once filed.

Claim Form

This form is filed by the employee with an alleged work-related injury or illness, or dependent(s) of a deceased employee, claiming workers’ compensation benefits.

IRS Form 941

This is a form used by the federal Internal Revenue Service to report income on your employees. It is submitted to the IRS quarterly and is a good source of information for your workers’ compensation premium audit because it should be very accurate and comprehensive. Generally, it should not be the only documentation of your compensation for audit purposes. See the website for more details.

IRS Form 944

This form serves the same purpose as the IRS Form 941, but is submitted annually, rather than quarterly. You would usually use only the Form 941 or the Form 944, not both. See the website for details.



Attending Physician

The medical practitioner who is the primary medical caregiver of an employee with a work-related injury or illness.


Any person making a claim for workers’ compensation benefits: usually, an employee claiming a work-related injury or illness, but may also be a surviving dependent of a deceased employee claiming survivors’ benefits.


An employer or its workers’ compensation insurance carrier in a workers’ compensation case.