According to records kept by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 905,700 American workers had to miss one or more days of work in 2012 because of a job-related injury. Injured workers in Illinois have the right to collect benefits through the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. These benefits fall into several categories according to the duration and severity of the disability.
Temporary partial disability
When an injured employee is still able to report to work and perform light duty, either part-time or full-time, temporary partial disability may be paid until the worker returns to his or her regular job. This benefit is calculated as two-thirds of the difference between the current wage and the amount earned before the injury occurred. Temporary partial disability is designed to help workers recover on the job and make the transition back to their former duties.
Temporary total disability
When an employee is temporarily unable to work—because of a broken leg, for example—the employer must pay temporary total disability. TTD benefits consist of two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly pay. These benefits are paid until the employee can come back to work. If employees cannot recover fully from on-the-job injuries, they are eligible for permanent disability.
Permanent partial disability
In more serious cases, the IWCC will award permanent disability benefits after a workplace accident. Permanent partial disability is defined as one or more of the following:
- Partial or total loss of a body part
- Partial or total loss of the use of a body part
- Partial loss of the use of the entire body
PPD benefits for these losses include long-term reimbursement of lost wages and additional payments for specific disfiguring or disabling injuries.
Permanent total disability
If a worker suffers the complete and permanent loss of use of at least two important body parts—both hands, both legs or both eyes, for example—the employer must pay permanent total disability. Claimants who are totally and permanently disabled have the right to two-thirds of their former average wage for the rest of their life. PTD benefits may also be increased to reflect changes in the cost of living. Qualified PTD recipients are eligible for both workers’ compensation and Social Security, although Social Security benefits may be reduced in some cases.
Know your rights as an injured worker
If you have suffered a disabling injury on the job in Illinois, it is important to know the different types of workers’ compensation available to you. Get in touch with an attorney today to discover more about your rights.