Accidents can and do occur at companies and job sites even if every safety precaution is taken. In Illinois, workers’ compensation benefits can help cover medical expenses and lost wages if a worker is hurt while on the job. The majority of workplace injuries involve an employee eventually returning to work after he or she is healed. In certain accidents, however, a worker may sustain injuries so severe that they cause permanent restrictions or disability. If you are permanently disabled as a result of a catastrophic work injury, disability benefits might help you reclaim your life.
Types of Permanent Disability Benefits in Illinois
According to Illinois law, there are two different types of permanent disability benefits depending on the consequences of an injury. Employers are required to pay permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits to an employee who is impaired or disfigured in some way while performing his or her job but who is still able to work in a limited capacity. Sometimes surgery will repair or correct an injury, and the worker can go back to his or her job after attending a rehab facility or doing physical therapy.
Permanent total disability (PTD) benefits are for an employee who is permanently unable to work in any capacity. With extreme cases, amputation may be necessary if a body part has been severed and cannot be reattached. If an employee loses both hands, arms, feet, legs, eyes, or any of these two body parts, that constitutes permanent total disability. This also applies if there is permanent and complete loss of the use of those body parts.
Before a worker can receive benefits, he or she must have healed first. In the workers’ compensation system, this means the person must have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), which means his or her doctor does not expect any further improvement.
If you have established MMI, your employer and/or the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) can begin to review your case and if you are entitled to permanent disability benefits.
Vocational Counseling and Training
If you are placed on permanent disability and your employer cannot accommodate your needs, Illinois employee rights can include vocational counseling or retraining. You are entitled to benefits due to wage loss under workers compensation plan, even while you are participating in vocational rehabilitation or training for a new occupation. Your employer’s workers compensation insurance company should help you retrain if necessary or find a new job.
Contact a Will County Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you are hurt performing your job and your injuries result in permanent disability, you might be entitled to benefits as well as counseling and retraining. The skilled legal team at McNamara, Phelan, McSteen, LLC will explain your options. Call an experienced Joliet workers’ compensation attorney at 815-727-0100 for a free consultation. Even if you are unable to work again, we can help you navigate your future.