Permanent Total Disability and Vocational Rehabilitation Under the Illinois Worker's Compensation Act
Permanent Total Disability
If an injured worker is found to be permanently and totally disabled, he is entitled to receive two-thirds of his average weekly wage for life, subject, of course, to the statutory maximums and minimums.
• The Supreme Court of Illinois has held that an employee is totally and permanently disabled when he is “unable to make some contribution to the workforce sufficient to justify the payment of wages.”
• The injured worker may be able to perform some intermittent work and still qualify as a Permanent Total Disability.
Two types of Permanent Total Disability cases are not classified as statutory.
• Workers who are obviously unemployable.
• Odd lot category workers.
To prove an odd lot on a total disability case, the injured worker is required to show a diligent but unsuccessful job search; or, because of his age, condition, training, education, and experience, he is unfit to perform any but the most menial tasks for which no stable employment market exists.
The Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act requires an employer to pay for vocational rehabilitation if an injured work is unable to return to his previous job.
• During the time of re-training, the employer is required to pay “maintenance benefits.”
• Maintenance benefits are calculated at a rate of two-thirds of the average weekly wage.
• Maintenance benefits are paid at the same rate of the Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits.
• Maintenance benefits are to be paid the entire time the injured worker is undergoing vocational rehabilitation.
To qualify for vocational rehabilitation benefits, the work injury must have:
• Caused a reduction in the employee’s earning power and
• The employee is likely to obtain employment upon completion of the vocational rehabilitation.
The employer is responsible for paying all of the employee’s:
• Medical treatment, plus
• Instruction and training necessary for the physical, mental, and vocational rehabilitation
including all maintenance costs and expenses incidental thereto.
Since vocational rehabilitation cases are expensive, insurance companies spend lots of effort, energy, and money defending against them.
To get more information about your injuries and benefits under the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act, call the Giacoletto Law Firm at 618-346-8841 or toll free at 888-346-8841 to speak today with an experienced Illinois attorney centrally located in Collinsville.
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