City of Chicago Workers With Permanent and Total Disabilities
Lawyers for Chicago Employees Injured On the Job
Sometimes a work accident results in permanent and total disabilities. For example, if you are a police officer who is shot in the spine, you may be paralyzed and never able to walk again. As another example, if you are a maintenance worker who falls off a balcony, you may wind up with complex fractures in your legs, back injuries, and a traumatic brain injury, and may no longer be able to do maintenance jobs. The City of Chicago employs many workers in jobs that are dangerous or involve physical stress. Even office workers with the City may suffer permanent injuries as a result of repetitive motions or experiencing injuries in an accident at work. If you’re a City of Chicago worker who has sustained a permanent and total disability, a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney can guide you through the process of seeking benefits.
City of Chicago Workers with Permanent and Total Disabilities
Employees who have been injured because of their work may need disability benefits if they are no longer able to do their jobs. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) uses different classifications for different levels of disability: temporary disability, permanent disability, partial disability, and total disability. Employees are eligible for permanent and total disability benefits if their work injury will prevent them from working again.
In Illinois, the City of Chicago must pay permanent partial disability benefits to an injured worker who has suffered an impairment or disability, but who can still work in some way. However, if you are completely and permanently unable to work, you may be able to get permanent total disability benefits. To obtain these benefits, you must establish that you’ve reached maximum medical improvement. Maximum medical improvement is found if your doctor doesn’t expect that you will improve beyond what your recovery thus far has been. At the point of maximum medical improvement, the City of Chicago or the IWCC can start to determine your entitlement to permanent disability benefits.
If you qualify for permanent total disability benefits, you would get benefits for the rest of your life. In the process of seeking these benefits, you will need to submit a physician’s report. It’s not enough that you have significant restrictions; you may need to go through vocational rehabilitation and try to get a job before you can be deemed eligible for permanent and total disability benefits.
Often, the City of Chicago contests whether an employee truly qualifies for these benefits. You will need to be able to show you can’t work or get a job after searching diligently. You will need to compile medical records to show the link between your disability and your job or work-related accident, as well as testimony from your doctor stating that you are prevented from working, and that all treatment possibilities have been exhausted. A knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney can help you gather the necessary evidence in support of your claim.
If you suffered a work-related injury that left you permanently, totally unable to do a job, or you suffered the loss of use of both your hands, both your arms, both feet, both legs, or both eyes, or two of any of these, you can be found completely and permanently disabled for purposes of workers’ compensation benefits. Permanent and total disability benefits are 2/3 of your average weekly wage. You can get up to 133 1/3% of the state average weekly wage at the time you’re injured. You can also get cost of living adjustments (COLA). These will reflect average wage increases across the state every year.
Many City workers become permanently disabled through job injuries. You may be offered a lump sum settlement for these disabilities, rather than weekly benefits.
Retain a Skilled Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Chicago
If you’re a City of Chicago worker with questions about permanent and total disability benefits, you can talk to a dedicated workers’ compensation lawyer. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, we represent workers in Quincy, Rockford, Champaign, and Aurora, as well as Kane, Sangamon, Winnebago, Cook, and Adams, Counties. We can also examine your situation to figure out whether an SSDI claim or personal injury lawsuit could provide relief. Call us at 312-724-5846 or contact us via our online form.