Partial Disability Benefits
Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Serving the Chicago Area
Employees who are unable to earn their pre-injury wages may be eligible for partial disability benefits according to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. After suffering injuries in a workplace accident or aggravating a job-related condition, claimants may assert their right to benefits. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, our Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys represent injured employees as they pursue a claim for disability benefits. We have handled many claims that are based on an individual’s inability to return to work full-time or at the same level as before the workplace injury.
Asserting the Right to Partial Disability Benefits
Temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits are available to employees working light duty, part-time, or full-time. In other words, these are benefits that are available to injured workers during their healing period. To receive TPD benefits, employees must earn less than they would if they were working in the full capacity of the job. Employers pay temporary partial disability benefits until the employee returns to their regular job or reaches maximum medical improvement.
The amount of temporary partial disability benefits available to workers who are no longer earning as much as they were before their injury is calculated according to a formula set forth in the Act. This calculation is two-thirds of the difference between the employee’s average wage, in the full performance of their duties, in the same job where they were working at the time of the accident and the gross amount that they are earning in their modified job. The employer may provide the modified job, or it may be a different job.
Some employees may suffer an impairment or disfigurement, but they may still be capable of working in some capacity. If a job-related accident leads to a permanent, physical loss, the employer is required to pay permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits. These benefits are available to employees who have lost the use of a body part, either partially or completely.
The Act does not define “loss of use,” but employees who are unable to do the things that they could do before the injury may be deemed to have endured the “loss of use” of a body part. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission will make a PPD determination once an employee has reached their maximum medical improvement.
Four types of permanent partial disability benefits may be awarded to injured workers. Wage differential may be recovered if the employee earns a different amount in the new job. Certain body parts are valued under the Workers’ Compensation Act, and employees may be able to recover an amount equal to the loss of this body part or the loss of its use. If the employee’s condition is not included on the schedule of injuries, but the employee has limitations, they may recover an amount based on their reduced capacity as a whole. Finally, the Act provides compensation for employees who suffer a serious, permanent disfigurement to their face, head, chest, neck, arm, hand, or other body area.
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission determines an employee’s level of disability and relies upon physician reports. For injuries that took place on or after September 1, 2011, the Commission looks at certain factors. First, the Commission relies on an impairment report provided by a physician. Other factors include the age of the employee when they were injured, their occupation and future earning capacity, evidence of their disability, and corroboration through treating medical records.
Discuss Your Disability with a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Chicago
At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, we advance the rights of injured employees who are pursuing a claim for benefits under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. Retaining a Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer may help secure the appropriate benefits and ease the financial burden faced by workers and their families during their treatment period. If you or someone close to you has been hurt at work, call our office and learn more about your options by speaking with one of our dedicated job injury attorneys. We can be reached by calling 312-724-5846 or using our online form to arrange a free consultation. We help workers in Quincy, Aurora, Springfield, Rockford, Champaign, and other areas of Kane, Champaign, Adams, Winnebago, and Cook Counties.