A Guide to Acronyms and Shorthand in Connecticut Workers’ Compensation

By: Cody N. Guarnieri, Esq.

One aspect of the workers' compensation system in Connecticut that makes it so difficult for the non-lawyer to navigate is the acronyms and shorthand phrases commonly used by practitioners. Do not let these unfamiliar terms keep you from obtaining the medical assistance you need, or the wage replacement compensation that you have a right to. Below appears a brief and non-exhaustive list of the different terms that one may come across in pursuing a Workers' Compensation claim:

  • Claimant -
    • The claimant is the employee who was injured in the course of their employment. This is the individual who independently, or with the assistance of competent counsel, brings a claim for compensation.
  • Respondent -
    • The respondent is generally the employer and can also be the employer's workers' compensation insurance company. However, by statute an employer must either self-insure their employee's in the case of a work-related injury, or obtain private insurance. The vast majority of the time, the respondent's interests are advanced by an attorney who is contracted by the employer's workers' compensation insurer.
  • TTD - Total Temporary Disability payments -
    • This term refers to benefits that an injured employee is eligible to receive if, as a result of their work-related injury, a medical professional determines that the employee is, for a period of time, unable to perform work.
  • TPD - Temporary Partial Disability payments -
    • This term refers to benefits that an injured employee is eligible to receive if, as a result of their work-related injury, a medical professional determines that, for a period of time, the employee is unable to perform some aspects of their work, but may return to work and perform other aspects.
  • PPD - Permanent Partial Disability payments -
    • This term refers to benefits that an injured employee is eligible to receive to compensate them for a degree of enduring injury or incapacity which a medical professional determines the employee suffered due to their work-related accident or injury.
  • 30C or Form 30C - Claimant's written notice of the claim -
    • The Workers' Compensation Commissioner in Connecticut establishes certain forms that claimants and respondents are required or requested to use in the course of resolving their claim. A Form 30C must be filed by a claimant within a statutorily defined period of time. Several exceptions exist to a claimant's need to file a Form 30C.
  • 30D or Form 30D - Dependent's written notice of claim -
    • A Form 30D is another form created by the Workers' Compensation Commissioner. This form alerts a potential respondent that a claim for benefits on behalf of a dependent of an injured worker is being made.
  • 36 or Form 36 - Respondent's Notice of Intention to Modify or Discontinue Payments -
    • A Form 36 is another form created by the Workers' Compensation Commissioner. This Form, filed by a respondent, indicates that, for some reason, the respondent intends to reduce or otherwise discontinue whatever payments the claimant is receiving as part of their work-related injury compensation (usually TTD or TPD).
  • 1A or Form 1A - Filing and Exemption Status Form -
    • A Form 1A is another form created by the Workers' Compensation Commission. This form must be filled out by a claimant whose injury is found to be compensable. This form allows the claimant to inform the respondent of their income tax exemptions so as to allow the Respondent to calculate the compensation rate.
  • 308a or 31-308a - Wage differential benefits -
    • Benefits under Connecticut General Statutes Section 31-308a are often available to claimants who, due to their work-related injury, are unable to earn at the same level as their pre-injury income. The Commissioner may grant wage differential benefits to a claimant for a period of time set by statute.
  • MMI - Maximum Medical Improvement -
    • Medical Maximum Improvement, or "MMI" refers to when a medical professional determines that a claimant had recovered from their work-related injury to the greatest extent that the medical professional believes is possible under the circumstances.
  • "Rating" -
    • Often, when attorneys or commissioners discuss a claimant's "rating," they are referring to the degree to which that person suffers from a permanent disability to some part of their body as a result of their work-related injury. Generally, using a reputable diagnostic manual, medical professionals will assign a percentage, or rating, to the degree of permanent disability of the body part.
  • VA - Voluntary Agreements -
    • A voluntary agreement, at the outset of a workers' compensation case, is both an acknowledgement from the respondent that they claim is accepted as compensable, as well as locks in the details regarding the claimant's compensation rate.
  • 43 or Form 43 - Respondents notice of disclaimer -
    • A Form 43 is a form created by the Workers' Compensation Commissioner which a respondent must use to alert a claimant that they are denying compensability to the employee's injury. There is a wide variety of reasons why a respondent may disclaim coverage, but a Form 43 must be filed within a certain period of time, set by statute, or the claim is deemed to be accepted.
  • MSA - Medicate Set Aside -
    • For certain claimants, the interests of future Medicare costs must be taken into consideration by both parties when settling a Workers' Compensation Claim. The way this may be done is by creating a Medical Set Aside, or delineating a portion of a settlement into an account devoted to paying future Medical costs.
  • IME - Independent Medical Examination (or Examiner depending on the context) -
    • A respondent may choose to request that the claimant be evaluated by a medical professional of the respondent's choice. This evaluation is referred to an independent medical examination.
  • Base Compensation Rate -
    • A claimant's compensation rate is determined by a formula contained within the Connecticut General Statutes. Generally, the compensation rate is 75% of the injured employee's weekly income over the previous 52 weeks of employment. However, the base compensation rate cannot be higher than the statewide average income.