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Disability Benefits

Chicago Lawyers for Health Care Workers’ Disability Benefits

Disability benefits provide partial replacement of wages lost due to work-related injury or illness. As a healthcare worker during the pandemic, you may have worked in medical practices and hospitals that were short staffed. Even though the majority of health care workers are vaccinated, some have still gotten sick, a situation that only exacerbates the stressful conditions under which proper, professional care must be provided to patients. Under such difficult circumstances of overexertion and stress, it’s common for health care workers to get injured more frequently and severely than in less demanding times. If you need to file a claim for benefits, you should call the seasoned Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. We have more than sixty years of experience representing injured people, and can look at all potential sources of recovery

Disability Benefits

The Illinois Workers' Compensation Act provides a system that addresses all injuries caused by or related to a Chicago employee’s work. This includes any pre-existing conditions aggravated by work or work-related injuries that are sustained offsite. Injuries not covered by the Act include self-inflicted injuries, injuries sustained when a worker was not on the job, and injuries sustained when an employee’s conduct violated company policy. For example, health care workers are at risk of suffering disabling COVID-19 as a result of exposures on the job; however, some insurers push back against providing benefits or issue improper denials, claiming the COVID-19 is not job-related.

Benefits that an injured health care worker can recover through workers’ compensation when our lawyers can establish a job-related injury or illness include medical benefits, rehabilitation benefits, temporary total disability benefits, permanent total disability benefits, temporary partial disability benefits, permanent partial disability benefits, and vocational benefits. Disability benefits are calculated according to your average weekly wage.

The rate for temporary total disability benefits is 2/3 of your average weekly wage. This is subject to a maximum that fluctuates according to a state average weekly wage. If it’s determined that you are permanently, totally disabled at the point of maximum medical improvement, you may be able to keep receiving benefits at this rate in the form of permanent disability benefits. However, if you are partially disabled on a permanent basis, there are various ways the benefits may be calculated.

Time Frame for Disability Payments

You won’t receive disability benefits for the first three days you’re off work due to work-related injuries. Rather, disability benefits start after the third day you can’t work, and the first three days of disability pay are only compensated after you’ve had to be off work for 14 days because of your injuries. If your employer’s insurer does not pay you benefits, our attorneys may be able to file a claim for disability benefits with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC). In some cases, an insurer pays some disability benefits, but not others, or abruptly stops paying benefits it had initially paid. For example, you might find that an insurer stops paying temporary total disability benefits for a disc herniation injury you sustained while taking care of an additional set of patients after it investigates your case and determines you have a preexisting disc injury. For another example, if you are overworked and slip and fall in the hospital corridor, fracturing your wrist, you may find that the insurer is willing to pay temporary disability, but balks at paying permanent benefits.

An arbitrator with the IWCC can conduct a trial and issue a decision. In the course of this proceeding, our lawyers will have the burden of showing you are entitled to disability benefits by showing you were an employee who was injured in the course of employment or that your medical condition was caused or aggravated by workplace conditions.

Hire a Chicago Health Care Workers Lawyer

If you are a health care worker who is injured and left disabled by a work-related accident, you should retain a law firm to represent you. Our attorneys represent health care workers in Quincy, Rockford, Champaign, and Aurora, as well as Kane, Cook, Sangamon, Winnebago, and Adams Counties. Call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.