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Teachers With Temporary and Total Disabilities

Chicago Lawyers Representing Educators

Even though the public may not regard teaching as a particularly hazardous profession, teachers do risk serious and disabling injuries while at work. The risks of injury may come from engaging in repetitive motions, lifting or moving heavy objects, exposure to toxic chemicals, stress, slip and fall accidents, violent confrontations and school shootings. Teachers with temporary and total disabilities should protect their rights by consulting with a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney about their disability claim.

Teachers with Temporary and Total Disabilities

Teachers injured on the job may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. A range of benefits may be available including reasonably necessary medical care, disability, and vocational rehabilitation. If you’re completely unable to work after an accident or due to repetitive stress injuries, you may be able to obtain temporary total disability benefits. For example, if you suffered blurred vision, muscle cramping and severe headaches for two weeks after being exposed to toxic chemicals at school, you may be eligible for temporary total disability benefits. Alternatively, if you were injured during a school shooting and require time to recover from PTSD and a bullet wound to the leg, you may not be able to work for several months. In such an instance, you may qualify for temporary total disability benefits.

Sometimes temporary total disability involves psychiatric or psychological injuries, but not physical injuries. For example, if you’re caught up in a violent confrontation with a troubled student, you may face psychological injuries even if the confrontation was resolved without injury. In some cases, physical injuries resolve more quickly than psychological injuries do. If your claim is psychiatric or psychological, but not physical, you’ll need to show you went through a traumatic work-related event that substantially caused your psychiatric issues. It can be challenging to establish entitlement to temporary total disability benefits solely from emotional distress, which is one reason it’s so important to retain an experienced lawyer.

Temporary and Total Disability Pay

Temporary total disability payments are made at a rate of 2/3 of your average weekly wage. For example, if you ordinarily earned $3,000 each week, your temporary total disability pay would be $2,000 each week. While this benefit doesn’t fully replace your wages, for many workers it provides a lifeline. You should start receiving temporary total disability pay once you have been off work for three days. You can be paid retroactively for the first three days if you are unable to work for two weeks or more. Your employer or its insurer should start paying benefits within 14 calendars days of being notified you aren’t able to work. If the employer or insurer denies liability, it should provide a written explanation of its reasons for denying your claim. When an employer believes that it does not have sufficient information to determine its liability for paying temporary total benefits, it should notify the employee in writing of the additional information required to make the determination.

You can receive temporary total disability benefits until you reach maximum medical improvement. This is the state at which your injury has stabilized such that you will not improve any further.

Maximum Medical Improvement

Sometimes maximum medical improvement is a disputed issue. When you reach maximum medical improvement, the doctor will determine whether you suffered any permanent losses. If you have sustained a permanent total disability, you can obtain benefits that are calculated the same way as temporary total disability benefits. If you are partially but permanently disabled, the state has a few different ways to calculate the benefits to which you’re entitled.

Consult a Seasoned Chicago Attorney

Teachers with temporary and total disabilities should discuss their situation with Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Our Chicago lawyers represent injured teachers in Rockford, Champaign, Aurora, and Quincy. We also handle claims in Sangamon, Winnebago, Cook, Kane, and Adams Counties. Call us at 312-724-5846 or fill out our online form.