After suffering an injury at work, you rely on workers’ compensation to pay your medical bills. But if the doctor says you can’t go back to work until you heal, you may worry about how you will pay all your other bills. Luckily, workers’ comp will also supplement your income while you recover.

But how long will these benefits last? You may not receive supplemental income forever. But its length will depend on the severity of your injury and the advice of the doctor.

TTD can last up to three years

The most common type of supplemental income is with temporary total disability, or TTD, benefits. You receive this income when the doctor says you can’t work until you recover. You can collect up to 70% of your pay with TTD.

The maximum length of time you can receive TTD benefits is three years. A court can extend it to four if you get another injury. But some soft tissue injuries may only get a couple months.

Permanent benefits can last till retirement

Most people can recover from injuries and return to work. But if a doctor says yours is permanent, you may receive benefits for even longer.

If you can no longer work due to an injury, you can receive permanent total disability, or PTD. Like TTD, these benefits pay up to 70% of your wage. But they can last until you start receiving your Social Security retirement benefits.

You can also receive workers’ comp for a permanent partial impairment, or PPI. If you can still work, but can’t do your original job, you can rely on these benefits to supplement your income. Like PTD, PPI benefits can last until you collect retirement.

You may need to fight for your benefits

While workers’ comp benefits can help you pay your bills, your employer’s insurance company may try to reduce the time you receive them. They may limit TTD benefits to a shorter time than your doctor recommends. Or they may say you don’t qualify for PTD or PPI benefits.

However, if you can’t work, you need these benefits to get by. You may need to gather evidence from your doctors on how long you can’t work. And if the insurer still won’t approve your benefits, you may want to consult with an attorney.

Benefits should last as long as you need them

Workers’ compensation ensures you don’t have to worry about money while you can’t work. While your injury and your doctor’s recommendations will determine how long you receive benefits, you should be able to have them for the full length of your recovery.