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Nurses With Partial Disabilities

Chicago Lawyers Representing Healthcare Workers

Nurses perform many different tasks on the job that place them at risk for injuries. When nurses suffer severe injuries, they may be unable to work full-time or may be limited to only performing light-duty tasks. Nurses with partial disabilities consult with an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney. Most nurses do not have enough saved for this circumstance. Workers’ compensation benefits may help to make up that difference.

Nurses with Partial Disabilities

Nurses serve an important role in the provision of medical services. They may care for patients in hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics, emergency rooms, nursing care facilities, out-of-patient surgery centers, urgent care facilities, assisted living facilities, or within homes. They may clean and bathe patients, help patients dress and shower, reposition patients, measure vital signs, change linens, and serve meals. They may perform certain tests or monitor a patient, depending on the health condition at issue.

Nurses are susceptible to work-related back strain, herniated discs, torn rotator cuffs, joint injuries, sharps injuries, and toxic exposures. Nurses are also at risk of catching airborne illnesses. Any of these may leave a nurse partially disabled.

Temporary Partial Disability Benefits

As a nurse, you may sustain injuries that leave you only able to work light-duty shifts but earning less than you usually make. Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, if you’re working light duty, whether full-time or part time, and you earn less than what you’d earn if you worked in full capacity at your job, you’re entitled to temporary partial disability benefits. These are calculated as 2/3 of the difference between the average amount you’d be able to earn in fully performing your duties as a nurse and the gross amount you earn in a modified job given to you by an employer.

Permanent Partial Disability Benefits

Once you reach maximum medical improvement and it’s determined you can only work with restrictions, you may be eligible for permanent partial disability benefits. You’ll be entitled to these benefits if you sustain physical impairment, disfigurement or amputation caused by job-related injuries, but you’re able to work to some degree. These benefits may be paid in a lump sum or in installments.

There are four ways permanent disability benefits are calculated. The first method of calculation is the wage differential benefit. A wage differential award is paid if a worker is forced to change jobs because of job-related physical impairments and the new job pays less than the old one. You’re entitled to 2/3 of the difference in wages between the jobs.

The second method is for scheduled injuries. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission awards benefits for a certain number of weeks for different body parts, based on a schedule. For instance, if your leg is amputated above the knee on the job, you’re entitled to 242 weeks. If you lose your hearing in one ear due to accident or trauma, you’re entitled to 54 weeks of benefits. The number of weeks of benefits is multiplied by 60% of the state’s average weekly wage to arrive at the amount of a scheduled injury benefit.

When your injuries are not listed on the schedule, your benefits are calculated according to a percentage of loss. The degree of your physical impairment will be evaluated according to how the disability affects your life and earning potential as a whole. Once a percentage of loss is assigned, it’s multiplied by 500 weeks to determine the number of weeks of benefits to which you are entitled. That figure is multiplied by 60% of your average weekly wage.

If your face, head, chest, neck, arms, hands or lower legs are left disfigured due to your job as a nurse, your disfigurement award will be determined according to the degree of your disfigurement. You and your employer may be able to agree on a number of weeks for benefits, particularly with the help of a lawyer. However, if you can’t agree, the arbitrator will establish the number of weeks up to 162 weeks. The number of weeks will be multiplied by 60% of your average weekly wage to arrive at the disfigurement award.

Consult a Seasoned Chicago Attorney

Nurses with partial disabilities should talk to the experienced workers’ compensation lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. We handle the claims of nurses in Chicago, Quincy, Aurora, Champaign, and Rockford. We also represent nurses in Winnebago, Cook, Adams, Sangamon, and Kane Counties. Call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.