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Teachers With Partial Disabilities

Chicago Lawyers Helping Injured Educators

Teachers serve an important role for society. While people may not think of teaching as a job in which injuries are common, teachers are exposed to many risks, such as those related to heavy lifting, school violence, stress, or toxic exposure. Teachers with partial disabilities from job-related injuries may be able to receive certain workers’ compensation benefits. To help negotiate the Illinois workers’ compensation system, contact the Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca for a consultation.

Teachers with Partial Disabilities

Illinois teachers face all kinds of risky situations that can result in injuries that ultimately leave them unable to work without restrictions or modifications. For instance, if you sustain a disc injury, you may be unable to stand for long periods or lift objects over a certain weight. These limitations may affect your ability to teach or perform another job. If you are a teacher who is left partially disabled because of an accident or event that happened on the job, you may be able to obtain partial disability benefits through the workers’ compensation system.

Temporary Partial Disability

Temporary partial disability benefits are calculated at a rate of 2/3 of the difference between the average amount you could earn in fully performing the teaching job in which you were involved at the time of the accident and the gross amount you are earning now. You can obtain these benefits if your doctor has restricted you to part-time hours or if your employer is only able to accommodate your restrictions with a lower paying position.

Permanent Partial Disability

You may be eligible for permanent partial disability benefits when you reach maximum medical improvement. This is the point at which your condition has stabilized but will not improve any further with treatment. If you can only teach in a limited capacity after an amputation, disfigurement, or other physical impairment as a result of a work-related incident and you’ve arrived at maximum medical improvement, you may be entitled to permanent partial disability benefits.

These benefits may be calculated using four different approaches. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help verify whether the level of disability benefits were calculated correctly. With the wage differential benefit, you are entitled to 2/3 of the difference in your wages between the prior teaching job and your new job or role. With the second approach, a schedule sets the number of weeks for which you can receive benefits, and this number is multiplied by 60% of the state average weekly wage.

A third approach involves nonscheduled injuries, in which benefits are determined according to the percentage of loss you’ve suffered to your life as a whole. This percentage is multiplied by 500 weeks to determine how many weeks of permanent partial disability pay you should be paid. The number of weeks is multiplied by 60% of your average weekly wage.

The fourth method is used for disfigurement, which is a serious, permanent alteration to the appearance of your lower legs, arms, hands, chest, neck, face or head. For example, if you were in a violent confrontation with a student and received a laceration to your face that left a scar, a disfigurement award would be appropriate. Benefits are assessed according to degree of disfigurement. You may be able to reach an agreement with your employer about how many weeks of benefits you should get. Otherwise, an arbitrator is authorized to establish a maximum of 162 weeks for benefits. The disfigurement award equals the number of weeks multiplied by 60% of your average weekly wage.

Retain a Seasoned Attorney in Chicago

Teachers with partial disabilities may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. If you are a teacher who was involved in a job-related accident and suffered a partial disability as the result, you should talk to the workers’ compensation lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Our firm handles the claims of teachers in Chicago, Quincy, Aurora, Champaign, and Rockford. We also represent teachers in Winnebago, Cook, Adams, Sangamon, and Kane Counties. Call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.