Temporary and Total Disabilities for Lyft Drivers
As a Lyft driver, you face risks of serious injury while at work driving customers. Whether you break both your legs in a crash or suffer from a ruptured spinal disk while driving for a long period of time, you might need medical and disability coverage while you are unable to work. You may assume that Lyft is right in classifying you as a non-employee, and as such, that you aren’t entitled to workers’ compensation coverage for a temporary and total disability as a Lyft driver. However, Illinois courts use the ABC test to determine whether or not a worker is an employee. If you are found to be an employee, you are entitled to the protections this legal status mandates, including benefits in the event of a work injury. You can consult the skilled Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca to learn more about your legal options.Temporary and Total Disabilities for Lyft Drivers
Injuries sustained while driving for Lyft can vary tremendously. They may include spinal cord damage, traumatic brain injury, repetitive motion injuries, broken bones and fractures, disfigurement, soft tissue injuries, and contusions. If a workplace injury leaves you unable to work, you may be concerned about how you’ll survive. If you are considered to be an employee under the ABC test, you may be entitled to the payment of temporary total disability benefits under section 8(b) of the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act. This benefit provides temporary compensation for a worker injured on-the-job for the duration of the temporary total disability.
You can receive temporary total disability benefits if you’re unable to work for more than three days; you are eligible for the benefit on the fourth day. However, if you can’t work for more than 14 work days, you can be paid for the first three days retroactively. You can also receive temporary total disability benefits if you’re placed on modified work duty, but your employer can’t accommodate your restrictions. Temporary total disability benefits are not taxed.Calculating Temporary Total Disability Benefits
The amount of the temporary disability benefit is not equivalent to what you would get if you were still working. Rather, the temporary total disability benefit is paid at a rate of 66 2/3% of what your average weekly wage was for the prior 52 weeks leading up to injury. When you have a fluctuating wage, this calculation may be complicated. If you are only partially disabled, you will only be able to obtain temporary partial disability benefits.
The maximum temporary total disability benefit rate is the lower of the published rate on the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission’s website or your average weekly wage. You can’t get weekly temporary total disability benefits that exceed your average weekly wage. A dedicated workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine how much your disability benefit amount may be.When Are Benefits Terminated?
The purpose of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act is to give you financial protection until you can return to work. Your benefits will be terminated once you reach maximum medical improvement. Your temporary total disability benefits cannot be terminated because you have been discharged by your employer. However, they can be terminated or suspended if you refuse to submit to surgical, medical, or hospital care necessary for your recovery. They can also be terminated or suspended if you refuse to work when given work that falls within any doctor’s orders related to physical restrictions. They can also be terminated if you don’t cooperate in good faith with rehabilitation efforts.
If you get to maximum medical improvement and still can’t go back to your job, you may be able to obtain permanent total disability benefits, which can be paid in a lump sum or weekly installments. You may also be entitled to vocational rehabilitation.Consult a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Chicago
If you have suffered temporary and total disabilities as a Lyft driver in Chicago, you can discuss your circumstances with the seasoned lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. We can handle workers’ compensation claims on behalf of injured drivers in Aurora, Champaign, Rockford, and Quincy, as well as Kane, Cook, Adams, Winnebago, and Sangamon Counties. Contact us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or via our online form.