Injured Worker's Rights

Posted about 4 years ago. Applies to Illinois, 2 helpful votes




Temporary Total Disability is the income your employer must pay you when you cannot work due to injury. Calculation of this amount can be very simple, as in the case of a salaried employee whose hours never change or the calculation can be VERY complicated. Examples: If you work two jobs and your supervisor where you got hurt knows about the second job, you get paid for both jobs. If your rent or your car is part of your compensation, the value of each or both is included. If you worked 11 of the last 12 months as a supervisor and were demoted or fired so you were working an entry level job when you got hurt, all of the much higher income is included in the calculation. Without an attorney looking out for you, the calculation of TTD, alone can cost you several thousand dollars. TTD is paid until your doctor says that you don't need any more medical care. This is called MMI or maximum medical improvement.


Medical Bills

Workers' Compensation (WC) must pay 100% of your medical bills related to the accident within two chains of referral. There are no co-pays or deductibles. It is critical that you see a trusted family doctor or identify a competent specialist as soon as possible. It is important that you stay within the guide of 2 doctors and anyone who either of those doctors refers you to. If your injury will require ongoing medical care, it is possible for your lawyer to make the WC insurance responsible for your medical care related to your injury for the rest of your life.



Temporary Partial Disability. Let's say you are released to work with restrictions and work is provided for you at a lower pay grade. TPD is the pay that makes up for the difference between your regular earnings and your temporarily reduced earnings.


Vocational Rehabilitation & Maintenance

Let's say your skills are limited to the very heavy work you were doing when you were injured. After all medical care, it is determined that you can never return to your former job. You are too young to retire so what do you do? You see what other types of work may be available from other employers and determine what training is necessary for those jobs. This is vocational rehabilitation. When needed, it must be paid for by the employer. During vocational rehabilitation, you are entitled to income called maintenance. It's the same amount you were paid in TTD.


Wage Differential

Let's say you earn very good money doing very heavy work and you injure your back at work. After all medical care has been rendered, it turns out that you can never return to doing anything but light work and you can only earn 1/2 of what you used to earn. In this case, you may be eligible for a wage differential which would pay you the difference between what you used to make and what you currently make.


Permanent Partial Disability

This is the amount of money paid to compensate for the permanent injury to your body when you CAN go back to work in some capacity. There is a range of value for every conceivable injury with the exception of very specific injuries such as amputations. Unlike many states, in Illinois, ONLY THE ATTORNEYS AND THE WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION can even argue the percentage of disability. For this reason, it is critical to have an experienced WC attorney fighting for you.


Permanent Total Disability

When you cannot return to any work, you are eligible for permanent total disability. This is, essentially, your TTD rate. Starting on the 3rd July after a determination that you are entitled to permanent total disability, you are also entitled to income from the rate adjustment fund. Few, if any, of these benefits are ever "offered." You need an aggressive, experienced attorney to fight for you, every step of the way.

Additional Resources

Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission

Illinois Workers' Compensation Act

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