Illinois Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD)
If you sustain a work related injury that falls under the Illinois Workers Compensation Act and either cannot work or have work restrictions that your employer cannot accommodate, you are likely entitled to temporary total disability benefits (TTD).
The best way to prove that you have work restrictions is through your treating doctor. In other words, your belief that you cannot work is not nearly as important as the opinion your doctor has about your ability to work.
If you show an entitlement to TTD benefits you are entitled to 2/3 of your average weekly wage for the 52 weeks prior to your injury (or parts thereof). Sometimes this can be a complex calculation that is best done by a lawyer who has experience with workers compensation cases, sometimes it is straight forward.
There are both minimum and maximum TTD payment rates depending on when you were injured. As of July 15, 2014, the maximum TTD rate was $1,341.07. So if you normally make $2,500.00 before taxes every week, you would not receive 2/3 of your actual average weekly wage. On the other hand, if you usually received $1,500.00 a week before taxes, you would be entitled to $1,000.00 in TTD benefits. As of July 15, 2014, the minimum TTD rate was $220.00, with higher minimums based on the existence of children and/or spouse (1=$253.00, 2=$286.00, 3=$319.00, 4+=$330.00). The rates change every six months to a year, so it is important to check with an attorney if you have questions about this issue.
TTD benefits are not owed by an employer until a worker has been unable to work for more than three working days. Benefits begin on the 4th working day and the first three days are not due until a worker has missed a total of 14 calendar days.
Benefit checks should arrive no more than every two weeks. It is the responsibility of the injured worker to keep his employer or their insurance company up to date on the current medical restrictions as provided by the treating physician. However, as long as eligibility for TTD benefits is met, in Illinois there is no time limit as to the amount of time that TTD benefits can be received.
In Illinois TTD benefits are considered compensation for an injury and not income so they are not subject to state or federal taxes. An injured worker in Illinois can receive social security benefits and TTD benefits at the same time. If they are receiving any wages or long/short term disability benefits, the insurance company will receive a credit for the amounts paid. e.g. If you are getting $600.00 a week in TTD, but somehow get $200 a week from a company disability policy, the insurance company would only owe $400 a week for TTD benefits.
Finally, it's important to know what your true average weekly wage was before your accident, especially if you are paid by the hour. In many cases overtime pay is not included and injured workers get short-changed in their TTD benefits. At other times we have seen insurance companies miscalculate the proper average weekly wage by not taking into account that some weeks of work were missed for vacation or sick leave.
We know that this can be confusing and you shouldn't be expected to figure it out on your own. If you have any questions or would like a referral to an experienced workers' compensation lawyer, please call our staff attorneys at (800) 517-1614 so we can point you in the right direction.