What is Temporary Total Disability Under the Workers Compensation Act in Illinois?


What is Temporary Total Disability?

Temporary Total Disability (TTD) is a weekly benefit that is two-thirds of your average weekly wage (AWW), granted it is within the minimums and maximums that are stated by the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission. Like all benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act, temporary total disability is tax-free. Insurance adjusters routinely underestimate injured workers’ total temporary disability rates, so it is important that you make sure you are not being underpaid.

Who is entitled to Temporary Total Disability?

To be entitled to temporary total disability your doctor must provide you with routinely updated work slip statuses. In some instances, you could be completely removed from your work environment or in other cases your doctor could place temporary restrictions on you that prevent you from completing certain job duties. If the second type of restriction is placed on you, then your employer may offer what is called light duty. Light duty is work that is within the job restrictions your doctor has noted on your work slip. You must show up for light duty, refusal to will cut off your temporary total disability benefits. In the case that this light duty causes you pain, see your doctor and have your restrictions updated. It is extremely important that both your adjuster and your employer receive copies of these restrictions. Finally, if you are working light duty and earning less than you would be under normal circumstances then you are entitled to a benefit called temporary partial disability.

What is your average weekly wage?

According to some case law, it is indicated that to be included in your AWW the hours you work must be regular and mandatory. So, what if you work 50 or 60 hours every week, will that overtime be included in your TTD? Well, this is where it gets both complicated and tricky. Mandatory means that your job requires you to work those 50 or 60 hours every week and if you don’t you will lose your job. Regular means that you consistently work those 50 or 60 hours a week. So let’s say there is one week where you only work 45 hours, well the courts might say that 50 hours isn’t a regular work week for you.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

Marc Perper – Partner at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates

In 2010, Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer Marc Perper, a partner at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates, prevailed before the Illinois Supreme Court. Battling for his client in an arbitration proceeding before a three-judge panel at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, and then in the circuit and appellate courts, Perper found himself before the Illinois’ highest court. The Illinois Supreme Court ruled in favor of Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates and their client, reversing the previous state appellate court ruling involving a worker’s right to receive temporary total disability benefits under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. The Illinois Supreme Court held that when an employer fires an employee while the injured worker is on temporary light duty, regardless if the firing is for “cause,” the employer must reinstate weekly disability benefits. Not only did Perper’s work help his client that day, but it also benefited thousands of injured workers across the state of Illinois. Injured workers who are unable to work and who do not qualify for unemployment are extremely vulnerable. In many cases, their lives depend on those weekly disability benefits. We applaud our Chicago workers’ compensation attorney, Marc Perper, for this notable achievement in his career.