Some industries in Chicago are more dangerous than others and put workers at a higher risk of injury. But workplace injury can happen in virtually any industry from education to railroads to corporate America. Workers’ compensation insurance was created to financially protect employees who have been injured or have developed a medical condition at work.
In this article, we’ll discuss the temporary disability benefits provided by workers’ compensation. At Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers, we know workers’ compensation backward and forward. We’re happy to answer questions you may have regarding your eligibility with a free case review by one of our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys,
Table of Contents
- What Are Temporary Disability Benefits?
- What Does Temporary Disability Mean?
- Temporary Total Disability
- Temporary Partial Disability
- How Do I Maximize My Temporary Disability Benefits?
What are temporary disability benefits?
Temporary disability benefits provided by workers’ comp help cover the worker’s lost wages while they recover from their job related injury or condition. All employers (with some exceptions) are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If you’ve been injured at work or developed an illness or the worsening of an illness, you are likely eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
There are a few cases, however, in which a person may not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. For example, if you started a fight at work and were hurt in this fight or if you were intoxicated when you were injured, you may not qualify for compensation. The best way to confirm your qualification for benefits following an injury at work is to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer.
What does temporary disability mean?
The rules surrounding workers’ compensation in Illinois can be a bit confusing. Having an attorney who knows your case is the best way to fully understand the laws surrounding your situation. But basic knowledge of your rights is important and can help you decide how to move forward.
To begin, let’s clarify the meaning of temporary disability. If you sustained an injury or illness at work, you might require time away from work to recuperate. However, your doctor may have determined that with proper treatment, you will make a full recovery and should be able to return to work in the same capacity as before your injury or illness. This means your injury or illness is a temporary disability.
Permanent disability, on the other hand, means that a person is not expected to fully recover from their injury or their injury prevents them from ever returning to work in the same capacity as before their injury.
Some examples of temporary disabilities resulting from a workplace injury may include:
- broken bones
- an illness or condition that one can recover from with treatment
- temporary loss of vision
- temporary back injuries
- work-induced mental health disorder that will respond to therapy or treatment
Temporary disability benefits provided by workers’ comp help cover the lost wages of the injured workers during the recovery period if it’s more than 3 days. This type of aid can be invaluable for those who have no way to supplement their lost income while they recover from their injury.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
Temporary total disability (TTD) exists to compensate injured employees who have not been cleared by their doctor to return to work. It also covers employees who have been cleared for light-duty work but this cannot be accommodated by the employer. The employer must provide these benefits until the employee returns to work or reaches maximum medical improvement or MMI. MMI is a common term used to describe the maximum recovery a person can achieve through treatment of their injury or condition.
In Illinois, TTD benefits are equal to two-thirds (66 2/3%) of the employee’s weekly range before their injury. An additional 10% is added for the employee’s spouse as well as each of their children. As of January 15, 2023, the maximum amount a person can collect on TTD in Illinois is $1,848.20 and fortunately, these benefits are not taxed.
If you’ve been laid off by your employer while you receiving TTD benefits and you’re concerned you’ll no longer receive compensation for your lost work while you recover from your injury, don’t be.
The state requires your employer to continue paying your benefits until you’ve recovered. If they stop paying your TTD benefits before you’ve recovered or returned to work, they will face some hefty penalties, fines, and attorney fees.
In case you feel that your rights are being violated or that you are not receiving your maximized benefit amount, please contact us. After over 30 years of helping injured workers in Chicago and throughout the state of Illinois, we know how emotionally and financially exhausting recovery can be and we want to help.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)
Sometimes, an injury is not completely debilitating and an employee is still able to work but at a reduced capacity. Temporary partial disability (TPD) exists for these types of cases. TPD covers injured workers who are able to return on a part-time basis (having worked full-time before your injury). It offers covers cases in which the employee returns to work in a position that earns less than the one they held before their injury.
For Chicago workers, TPD benefits cover two-thirds (66 2/3%) of the difference between what the employee was earning before the workplace injury and what they’re earning after the injury while still recovering from their injury. For example, if you earned $1,000/week before your injury but are currently working a position that pays only $700/week. That’s a difference of $300/week which means TPD would cover two-thirds of that (around $200/week).
How do I maximize my temporary disability benefits?
Workers’ compensation was created to help workers recover financially from a workplace injury. So you should never hesitate to pursue your maximum benefits. Unfortunately, the law can be difficult to understand or you may be entitled to benefits that you were not aware of.
If you’ve been injured on the job, the first step to maximizing your benefits is to promptly inform your employer of your injury and to seek immediate medical treatment to document that your injury took place at work. There are several strict deadlines throughout this process and you want to be sure you are acting promptly the moment you realize your injury or condition was caused at work.
Next you should consider seeking assistance from an experienced lawyer familiar with workers’ compensation. This is often the best way to ensure you are receiving the benefits you are entitled to and complete all the paperwork correctly and on time. If you know that you will need time to recover from a workplace injury get help now from any one of our knowledgeable attorneys as Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers.