The length of time that an injured worker can receive benefits depends on a number of factors including the type of benefits received, how permanent the injury is, and the worker’s age.
Generally, injured workers may receive temporary total disability (TTD) benefits until they are released to go back to their jobs without restrictions, they are released to return to work with restrictions and their employer can accommodate their need for modified light-duty work, or maximum medical improvement (MMI) is reached. If the work release includes medical restrictions, such as only working part-time or performing light-duty work activities, that cause a decrease in pay, the employee may receive temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits until the restrictions are lifted.
What Are TTD and TPD?
Under the Illinois’ Workers’ Compensation Act, injured workers may be eligible for TTD benefits if they have a work-related injury or illness that prevents them from returning to work. Payments are equal to two-thirds of the worker’s pre-injury pay. TTD benefits continue until the worker’s condition improves as much as is expected with treatment. This is called maximum medical improvement.
Temporary partial disability payments help make up the difference between working full time at the worker’s pre-injury salary and performing light-duty work or working part-time for less pay. TPD is calculated as two-thirds of that difference and paid until the worker is fully cleared to return to his or her normal job, or MMI is reached.
Workers’ Comp Benefits Available After TTD or TPD Benefits Are Terminated
A worker who has reached MMI will be evaluated by a doctor to determine whether the injury or illness left the employee with a permanent physical loss or disability. The extent of the disability will determine the type of benefits the victim may qualify to receive.
Workers who have lost use of both eyes, legs, feet, legs, hands, or arms will be considered permanently and totally disabled. They will receive permanent total disability at the same rate as their TTD benefits for life.
Workers may also be eligible for permanent partial disability benefits if they lose some part of their body and can no longer perform the work they did prior to the injury. Injured workers may also be eligible to receive:
- Wage differential benefits
- Scheduled loss-of-use awards
- Nonscheduled awards
- Disfigurement awards
- Vocational rehabilitation
Injured workers in Illinois cannot receive PPD and wage differential benefits at the same time.