Temporary and Total Disabilities for Uber Drivers
When you became an Uber driver, you may have signed a contract stating that you are an independent contractor rather than an employee. Sometimes employers in Illinois misclassify workers as independent contractors in an effort to avoid meeting the obligations they owe employees. Among the obligations they hope to avoid are paying workers’ compensation benefits for injuries sustained on the job. Illinois follows the ABC test, the application of which may show that you are an employee, in spite of Uber’s classification. If you’ve been injured on the job and are worried about temporary and total disabilities for Uber drivers, you can call the experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca.Temporary and Total Disabilities for Uber Drivers
Driving for a ride-sharing company carries the risk of sustaining injuries that result in temporary and total disability. The injuries may be acute, such as when they are sustained in an accident. For example, you may be temporarily and totally disabled if you break your legs in a car crash while driving a customer to his destination. However, disabling injuries can also be the result of cumulative stress and repetitive motions or exacerbations of a pre-existing condition.
Under section 8(b) of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, if your period of inability to work lasts longer than three working days, you can start obtaining weekly compensation in the form of temporary total disability benefits starting on the fourth day. If your inability to work lasts 14 days or longer, you can retroactively obtain compensation for the initial three workdays you missed.
You are eligible for temporary total disability if your doctor finds you cannot work or if you could perform light duty work, but your employer cannot accommodate this restriction.
If your employer takes the position that it doesn’t have enough medical information to decide its liability for the initial payment of temporary total disability or continued payment of these benefits, it should immediately seek the information it needs from your health care providers. You will need to give authorizations for release of the medical information that your employer reasonably requests. A knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer can help you assess whether any requests of this nature from your employer are reasonable.Calculation of Temporary Total Disability Benefits
Generally temporary total disability benefits are paid weekly. They are 66 2/3% of your average weekly wage. The percentage rate is increased by 10% for your spouse and for each child. Your temporary total disability benefits are not taxable. If you’re receiving temporary total disability benefits, you don’t lose your entitlement to these benefits if you are terminated or laid off.Maximum Medical Improvement
The end date of your eligibility for temporary total disability benefits is when you’re no longer incapacitated from working. In other words, you will no longer be eligible if your condition stabilizes and you reach a state of maximum medical improvement that allows you to do your old job again.
In some cases, your treating doctor and the employer’s independent medical examiner may disagree about whether you’ve reached maximum medical improvement. Your employer can rely on its doctor’s opinion and terminate your temporary total disability benefits.
If your employer starts paying temporary total disability benefits and later terminates those payments before you’ve gone back to work, it should give you a written explanation as to why it terminated payment. This written explanation should be given no later than the last day you were paid temporary total disability benefits.Attorneys for Chicago Workers’ Compensation Claims
If you have questions about eligibility for about temporary and total disability benefits for Uber drivers in Chicago, you can discuss your circumstances with the seasoned workers’ compensation lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Workers’ compensation claims against Uber can be particularly challenging due to disputes related to employment status, and legal counsel can help you navigate these difficulties. We are available to represent injured drivers in Champaign, Rockford, Quincy, and Aurora, as well as Kane, Cook, Adams, Winnebago, and Sangamon Counties. Contact us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525 or via our online form.