Person in wheelchairThis is the next post in a series of articles discussing permanent disability laws in Peoria, Illinois. Our previous article provided an overview of the topics to be discussed throughout this series. It also stressed the importance of working with an attorney with experience navigating our state’s workers’ compensation system. Doing so can help ensure that your claim is managed properly and help you collect the benefits to which you are entitled. In this post, we will discuss how Illinois’ law defines permanent disabilities and the ways in which one may be eligible to receive permanent disability benefits. If you or a loved one has been injured on the job and cannot return to work then you may have a permanent disability claim. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation with an attorney.

When a worker is disabled following a workplace accident, they are entitled to receive certain benefits through the Illinois workers’ compensation system. These include the payment of related medical care expenses and a portion of the person’s lost wages. If a person’s injuries create a permanent disability, the victim may be entitled to lifelong benefits. Someone is considered permanently disabled in one of two ways. First, a person who suffers specific injuries as defined by law, such as the partial or complete loss of one or more body parts or are permanently disfigured, will be considered permanently disabled. Alternatively, a person will be designated as permanently disabled if they are unable to return to work or only able to return in a limited capacity as a result of their injuries. In some instances, establishing one’s status is straightforward. For example, if you have lost both legs in a workplace accident, you will clearly meet the eligibility requirements and be entitled to ongoing benefits. Claiming permanent disability based on one’s inability to work, however, can be challenging. It is important to understand how such claims may be evaluated under Illinois’ law. An experienced attorney can help explain how the rules may impact your case.

The lost wages to which a permanently disabled person will be entitled and the period over which they will be paid will depend upon whether the individual has suffered a permanent partial disability (PPD) or a permanent total disability (PTD). A PPD is defined as the complete loss of a body part or the use thereof, including the partial loss of the body as a whole or permanent disfigurement. Depending upon whether the injured party is able to return to work, they may receive a certain portion of their pre-injury wages or a predetermined amount based on the state’s payment schedule. A PTD is defined as the permanent and complete loss of both hands, arms, feet, legs, eyes, or combination thereof, or an injury rendering the victim unable to perform work of any kind in the future. A person deemed to be PTD may be entitled to two-thirds of the average weekly wages for life. We will discuss these distinctions in more detail later in this series, however, it is important to understand how the differences may impact your ongoing benefits.

When someone is injured at work, we understand that disability benefits may be the only lifeline for the person and their family. Our office is dedicated to helping employees obtain workers’ compensation benefits to which they are entitled. If you need assistance, contact our Peoria office today to speak with a lawyer. Our firm also serves clients in the Illinois cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington.