Chicago Total Disability Lawyers
Temporary & Permanent Total Disability In Illinois
If you have permanently lost your ability to earn a living at any type of employment due to a work injury, you are likely entitled to receive permanent total disability (PTD) benefits. Your employer must compensate you for your loss of income and other expenses resulting from your disability, including medical bills and the cost of providing a handicapped-accessible home and vehicle.
At Anesi Ozmon, LTD, we represent injured workers throughout Illinois who have suffered both temporary and permanent total disabilities. Our Chicago total disability attorneys are well-versed in the state’s workers’ compensation laws and know how to help you seek the maximum benefits you are owed.
Continue reading to learn more, or contact us today at 312-997-5784 for a free consultation. We return all calls within 24 hours.
What Is Total Disability?
“Total disability” refers to a severe work-related injury or illness that prevents the individual from returning to work in any capacity. Total disabilities may be temporary (temporary total disability, or TTD) or permanent (permanent total disability, or PTD). Under Illinois workers’ compensation laws, employers are required to provide injured employees with TTD and/or PTD benefits when they are unable to work due to work-related injuries or illnesses.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits In Illinois
If you are eligible for workers’ compensation after suffering a job-related injury or illness that prevents you from working while you recover, you are entitled to temporary total disability (TTD) benefits. To qualify for TTD benefits, you must either be restricted from working by your treating doctor or be unable to return to work because your employer cannot accommodate your doctor’s work restrictions.
In Illinois, TTD benefits are paid at a rate of 2/3 your gross (pre-tax) average weekly wage. Your average weekly wage is calculated based on the amount you earned over the 52 weeks immediately prior to your work-related injury or illness. Obviously, if you have earned consistent wages over this period of time, it will be easier to calculate your average weekly wage and your TTD payments; however, if your wages have fluctuated over the past 52 weeks, determining your average weekly wage and TTD payments will be more complex.
Additionally, you should know that you cannot receive TTD benefits for the first three days of work you miss after being injured or being diagnosed with an occupational disease unless you eventually miss at least 14 days of work. Once you have missed 14 or more days of work, you can be reimbursed for the first three days of missed work due to your job-related injury or illness. Additionally, TTD payments are not taxable, and you will continue receiving these benefits until you either return to work or reach “maximum medical improvement” (MMI), as determined by your doctor.
What Is Maximum Medical Improvement?
Maximum medical improvement (MMI) occurs when your doctor determines that you have recovered as much as you are going to from your work-related injury or illness. If your doctor decides that you have reached MMI, but you are still unable to return to work at full capacity or at all, you could be entitled to permanent total disability (PTD) benefits and/or vocational rehabilitation.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits In Illinois
If your work-related injury or illness leaves you with permanent impairments, limitations, or disabilities, you may qualify for permanent total disability (PTD) benefits under Illinois’ workers’ compensation laws. Qualifying for PTD benefits is difficult – it is not enough to simply prove that you have significant work restrictions that your employer cannot accommodate. Instead, you will likely need to complete vocational rehabilitation and make a reasonable effort to obtain gainful employment. If you are still unable to work, you could qualify for PTD benefits.
If you are able to find another job but make less at your new job than you did at your previous employment, you could be eligible for a wage differential award. Additionally, if you suffered permanent impairment to a specific area of the body, you could be entitled to a “scheduled recovery,” or “specific loss recovery.” Such benefits are awarded based on impairment rating and a schedule that assigns certain benefits to various impairments and affected body parts. For example, the loss of a hand or arm is associated with a specific, scheduled award.
Sometimes, it is difficult to know if an injury will result immediately in total disability. For example, a severe arm injury might first qualify for permanent partial disability (PPD). If the injury develops into reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) syndrome, the person may then qualify for permanent total disability benefits.
At Anesi Ozmon, LTD, we can answer any questions you may have. Our Chicago total disability lawyers understand just how important it is that you recover the benefits you need to make up for lost income, pay your medical bills and navigate the many other hardships associated with a career-ending injury. We have handled all types of complex workers’ compensation claims, including those involving back injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, head injuries, repetitive trauma and more. We represent workers across all industries, including construction workers, tradesmen, laborers, union workers, office employees, service workers and others.
If you believe you could have a permanent total disability, contact our Chicago total disability attorneys for a case analysis. Call 312-997-5784 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation.