Temporary Total Disability Benefits for Injured Amazon Workers
Amazon is the world’s fastest growing retailer, but its delivery speed may come at a cost to its workers. Often the corporation presents itself as a workplace that provides opportunities. Unfortunately, many workers find the work environment stressful and incredibly fast-paced, and workers sustain many different kinds of serious injuries on the job. Benefits including temporary total disability benefits may be available to Amazon employees under the Illinois workers’ compensation system if they are hurt at work. This kind of wage replacement benefit can help injured employees and their families stay financially solvent while they heal from their injuries. The compassionate Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers at our firm can assess your potential claims and help you assert your legal rights.Temporary Total Disability Benefits for Injured Amazon Workers
Temporary total disability benefits are available to employees (not independent contractors), and can be paid if your doctor restricts your ability to work entirely or places modified work restrictions on you that your employer is unable to accommodate. If you are unable to work for more than three working days, you can obtain temporary total disability benefits starting on the fourth day you are disabled through the duration of the temporary total disability. However, if your temporary total disability lasts for at least 14 days, you can retroactively obtain benefits starting from the day after the accident that disabled you.
After you’ve sought and received temporary total disability benefits, the next inquiry will be whether you’ve reached maximum medical improvement. Maximum medical improvement doesn’t necessarily mean you are 100% better. Rather it means your condition has stabilized such that you cannot improve any further. In some cases, once maximum medical improvement is achieved, it is clear a worker will not be able to work again, and permanent total disability benefits should be sought.
In other circumstances, your doctor may release you to go back to work on light duty. This means you can work but you will be restricted in what you can do on the job; you may be told not to bend or lift and you may be told to work fewer hours than usual. If Amazon can accommodate your light duty restrictions, you are supposed to do the job and earn an income rather than rely on temporary total disability benefits. However, if you earn less than you used to because you have light duty restrictions, you may be able to obtain temporary partial disability benefits.
Not all doctors agree about when a worker has achieved maximum medical improvement. You should be aware that your treating doctor may disagree with the physician chosen by the employer to conduct an independent medical exam (IME) on you. You can rely on your own doctor’s opinion about any work restrictions, but your employer is entitled to rely on its doctor’s opinion and terminate your temporary total disability benefits. A knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer can guide you through the process of obtaining medical opinions in your case.How Much are Temporary Total Disability Benefits?
Workers’ compensation benefits are awarded regardless of fault for job-related injuries, but they do not represent the full amount of your losses as an injured worker. You can recover disability benefits, but they will only be a portion of the income you lost due to your job-related injury. Temporary total disability benefits are calculated as 66 2/3% of the gross average weekly wage that you earned in the 52 weeks before getting injured. This isn’t a taxable benefit.
Your average weekly wage may be difficult to calculate depending on whether you have had a stable income or a fluctuating one. Overtime will be included in the calculation if it was part of your regular hours of employment or if you worked a certain number of hours of overtime each week for the prior 52 weeks. Once you’re receiving temporary total disability benefits, you should be told in writing about any decisions made to terminate or suspend your benefits.Chicago Lawyers for Workers’ Compensation Claims
If you are concerned about temporary total disability benefits for injured Amazon workers in Chicago, you should talk to the seasoned attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca about your situation. We are available to represent injured Amazon workers in and around Quincy, Champaign, Aurora and Rockford, along with Winnebago, Kane, Adams, Sangamon, and Cook Counties. Contact us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525 or via our online form.