Many people who are injured at the workplace are able to eventually make a complete recovery and return to work. But some are left with permanent injuries, and are unable to work as they had before. In the state of Illinois, these workers are entitled to benefits. The experienced Peru on-the-job permanent injury lawyers at Schweickert Ganassin Krzak Rundio, LLP can help injured workers with the claim.
If your on-the-job injury or illness has left you permanently unable to work, you may be eligible to receive permanent total disability benefits. (You are considered permanently disabled if you lost two body parts in a workplace accident.) This entitles you to a lifetime weekly benefit equal to two-thirds of your average weekly wage. This benefit can’t exceed the maximum of 133 1/3% of the state average weekly wage at the time you were injured.
If your work-related injury or illness has left you able to work in some capacity, but unable to do the same things you could before, you may be eligible to receive permanent partial disability benefits. This includes losing a body part, or partial use of your body. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) has four ways of determine these benefit amounts:
- Wage differential – This applies if you had to get a new job because of your work-related impairment or disability, and your new job pays less than the previous one. With a wage differential, you are entitled to receive two-thirds of the difference between the two amounts.
- Scheduled injury – If you lost a body part in a work-related accident, you can receive a weekly payment that is based on 60% of your average weekly wage. The number of weeks you can collect is based on a schedule set by state law, depending on the body part that was lost.
- Loss of percentage of person as a whole – This method is used to determine your benefit if you have suffered permanent limitations to the use of your body. The IWCC determines several factors-including age, occupation, skills, pain level, limitation of motion and ability to perform certain tasks-and determines the percentage of your loss. This percentage is multiplied by 500 weeks to determine the length of your benefit, which will be 60% of your average weekly wage.
- Disfigurement – This method is used to determine your benefit if a work-related accident or illness has left you disfigured in a way that is a serious change to your appearance. This includes scars to the face, head, neck, chest, arms or lower legs. Your attorney and your employer negotiate a benefit amount, subject to a maximum.
Employers and insurance companies frequently challenge the amount of benefits you receive for long-term and permanent injuries. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced workers’ compensation attorney fighting for you. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you get the benefits you deserve.