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Proving Your Permanent Total Disability

Posted on in BGL Law
Proving Your Permanent Total DisabilitySome employees who are injured as a result of their work must seek disability benefits because they are no longer able to perform their jobs. The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission uses several classifications to determine the severity of the disability:

  • A temporary disability will gradually improve to the point that the worker can fully function;
  • A permanent disability is not expected to ever improve;
  • A partial disability limits the work the employee can do, in level of performance and duration; and
  • A total disability means the employee cannot do any work.

The most severe classification is permanent total disability, which will likely prevent the employee from ever working again. An employee who qualifies for PTD can receive benefit payments for the rest of his or her life. Because the employer will be responsible for the payments, it will likely contest whether the employee qualifies for the benefits. In order to receive PTD benefits, you need to prove that you are unable to work or obtain employment.

What is PTD?

The IWCC defines permanent total disability as:

  • The complete loss of use of both hands, arms, feet, legs, eyes or a combination of any two body parts; or
  • A condition that prevents someone from doing work or obtaining stable employment.

If you qualify for PTD, you will receive weekly benefits that equal two-thirds of your average weekly pay, as well as cost-of-living adjustments. There is a maximum and minimum amount you can receive, based on the state's average weekly wage and adjusted every Jan. 15 and July 15. The current maximum is $1,435, and the minimum is $538.

Proving PTD

At your trial, you are responsible for proving that you qualify for PTD benefits. Your employer may claim that your disability was not caused by your work or that you are capable of getting another job. You must prepare documentation to help your case:

  • Your medical records can show what is the likely cause of your disability and how that is related to your work;
  • Your doctor can testify that your disability prevents you from working and all treatment methods have been exhausted; and
  • You can make a concerted effort to apply for other jobs and document your attempts.

Legal Representation

When preparing for your workers' compensation trial, it is crucial to have an experienced lawyer to help prove your claim and combat objections your employer may make. Schedule a free consultation with a McHenry County workers' compensation attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, by calling 815-338-3838.



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