In Illinois, workplace injuries are generally covered under workers’ compensation insurance that employers are required to carry. The process to get deserved benefits can be daunting for many when they try to deal with insurance companies on their own. Insurance companies may try to take advantage of claimants by unreasonably denying or delaying legitimate workplace injury claims. If you have suffered a workplace injury, then it is important that you speak to an experienced attorney to ensure you get the benefits that you deserve.
What is Permanent Total Disability?
Permanent total disability refers to a classification within the Illinois workers’ compensation system. Someone classified as having a permanent total disability means that they suffered an injury or illness in a work-related incident, and the injury or illness is permanent and prevents the individual from being able to work. If someone has a permanent total disability, then they are eligible for lifetime disability benefit payments through workers’ compensation insurance. These benefits are only available after the injured individual has received treatment and has been deemed to reach maximum medical improvement. If at that point, they are still unable to safely return to work, then they qualify for lifetime permanent total disability benefits.
What Are Some Examples of Permanent Total Disability?
Permanent total disability usually deals with injuries that limit or prevent the mobility and strength of an individual. Some common examples of injuries that result in permanent total disability are:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
- Brain injuries
- Loss of a limb or eye
- Vision or hearing loss from injury
This is just a partial list of injuries that can result in permanent total disability. Many different types of injuries sustained at work can result in permanent total disability.
What Benefits Are Available Under Illinois Law?
Once someone has been deemed permanently and totally disabled, then they are eligible to receive lifetime weekly benefit payments through his or her employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company. This benefit payment is calculated based on the worker’s weekly wage, where the worker has the right to receive 2/3 of his or her weekly pay. This amount is limited by a maximum of 133.33% of the statewide weekly wage maximum benefit limit. Someone is considered permanently and totally disabled when they have received treatment and the doctor determines that the individual has healed to the maximum level possible and that further treatment will not improve the health of the individual more.
What are the Current Minimums and Maximums?
The state of Illinois limits how much someone can receive in workers’ compensation benefits. Every six months, the state publishes the statewide weekly wage (SAWW). SAWW is used to determine the minimum and maximum that disabled workers can receive in weekly workers’ compensation benefits. The most recent weekly average is calculated at $1,270.32 on 07/15/21, and this number is valid through 01/14/22 before it is adjusted. Different categories use this number as a baseline to determine appropriate benefits. For permanent total disability, the current minimum weekly wage benefit can be as low as $635.16 and the maximum weekly wage benefit can be as high as $1,693.76. Someone who is permanently disabled can receive benefits up to 133.3% of the maximum weekly wage benefit. Under the current rate, this would equal $2,252.70 as a weekly maximum.
How an Attorney Can Help
If you have suffered a permanent total disability, then it is critical that you receive the maximum compensation possible due to your inability to work. Injured workers are at a disadvantage when dealing with their employers and employers’ insurance companies due to their inexperience and lack of knowledge of the law. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help ensure you are not taken advantage of and can help prevent your claim from being unreasonably denied, devalued, or delayed. If you have legal questions, then call us at Cullotta Law so we can help!
Get Professional Assistance
If you have questions about a workplace injury in the Chicagoland or Aurora area, then it is important that you speak to an experienced attorney. At Cullotta Law, we are proud to offer free consultations with our attorneys. To schedule your consultation, call us at (630) 898-7800 or contact us online.