A work-related illness or injury can impair your ability to work, potentially leaving you no choice but to take some time off. If eligible, your workers’ compensation benefits should provide you with a financial lifeline and disability benefits to tide you over during this difficult time.
A condition that impairs your ability to perform your job duties may entitle you to receive disability benefits until you can return to work. Knowing the disability categories may help you gauge the duration of your workers’ comp benefits.
Permanent total disability
Experiencing a major accident or illness can result in the complete loss of use of vital body parts, such as your limbs, eyes, feet or hands. Such circumstances may mean you are no longer able to work. If this is the case, you may qualify for permanent total disability (PTD) benefits, entitling you to receive weekly financial support for life equaling two-thirds of your average weekly wage (AWW).
Permanent partial disability
Enduring a disability does not always mean you cannot return to work. However, full or partial loss of certain body parts may prevent you from executing your job duties. There are four ways to determine the duration of your permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits:
- Wage differential: If qualified, you may receive wage differential benefits for five years or until you turn 67, whichever is later.
- Disfigurement: A permanent disfigurement may qualify you to receive 60% of your AWW for up to 162 weeks.
- Scheduled injury: If your disability affects a body part specified in the Illinois PPD schedule, you may be eligible for scheduled injury benefits. For instance, thumb impairment can grant benefits for up to 76 weeks and hand impairment for up to 205 weeks.
- Nonscheduled injury: Injuries that disable a body part not in the schedule may be eligible for nonscheduled injury benefits. This could grant 60% of your AWW for a duration determined by the disability rating your doctor gives you.
Temporary total disability
If you are temporarily unable to work but expect to return with your doctor’s guidance, you may be eligible for temporary total disability (TTD) benefits. TTD benefits can last until you recover or reach maximum medical improvement (MMI).
Temporary partial disability
Suppose you can perform part-time work while in recovery; you may claim temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits until you reach MMI. TPD benefits can help cover the difference between the amount you made before your injury and the amount you will earn while working part-time.
Depending on the injury and illness, recovery periods may last a few weeks to several years. Having workers’ comp benefits to rely on can pave the way toward a healthy recovery. Knowing how long your benefits last might also help you prepare for the future.