This is the next article in my series on the handling of temporary total disability (TTD) claims in Peoria, Illinois. My last article discussed the differences between PTD and TTD. It is important to understand that if you are considered able to return to the workforce in the future then you will be considered “temporarily” disabled. You will, however, still be able to retain benefits. It is important to understand, however, that certain criteria must be met in order to claim TTD. An attorney can assist you with both understanding and protecting your rights. In this article I will discuss when a person is eligible for TTD. If you are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer.
An Illinois employee may be eligible for temporary total disability if they have suffered an injury on the job. In order to be eligible for TTD, a doctor must find that the employee cannot work at their former job in any capacity or that the employer is not accommodating the worker’s “light duty” restrictions. If either of these conditions are met, the employee will be eligible for benefits from the employer until they return to work or their medical condition is expected to improve no further. The amount of the benefits an employee receives will be based on their average weekly earnings. Benefits will typically be set at two-thirds of their average wage but this amount will also be subject to caps. If an employer lays off or fires an employee during this time, then the worker will continue to receive benefits.
The foregoing is best explained by way of example. Suppose Jack is a welder and earns twenty dollars per hour, or a total of $800 per week. Now suppose that Jack suffers a neck injury on the job and cannot reliably use his hands or legs due to the injury. Jack receives surgery and, after six months of rehabilitation, he would be able to return to his former job. During this time, the construction company which Jack works for shifts away from projects which require substantial welding and, as a result, all welders are laid off. Jack would receive $536 per week in benefits ($800 * .67) and would continue to receive these benefits even after the company has laid off the welders. Jack would continue to receive these benefits until he is medically deemed able to return to work.
Now suppose that Jack’s injury is not as severe, and he is told he can still work but cannot lift anything heavier than twenty-five pounds. Due to the nature of the jobs which Jack’s company handles, there is very little lifting that falls under this threshold. Even though Jack is still able to perform some tasks, he would likely be eligible for TTD as the employer cannot offer an accommodation which fits Jack’s needs. It is crucial to remember that whether Jack is considered disabled, and whether the employer is offering reasonable accommodations, will always depend on the specifics of the situation.
If you or a loved one have been injured on the job then it is important that you retain a workers’ compensation attorney immediately. The sooner you retain counsel, then the greater the chances of your case being handled correctly. I am a TTD lawyer who believes in protecting the rights of workers. My office prides itself on providing quality service and we are ready to assist you. Contact us online or by telephone to schedule an initial consultation. My office also serves clients in the Illinois cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington.