Permanent Disability Attorney in Peoria, Illinois
If you or someone you love has ever sustained a work-related injury that has led to a permanent disability, you know how incredibly challenging—both physically and financially—the experience can be. It is natural to feel confused or even overwhelmed when faced with the workers’ compensation process.
As a permanent disability attorney at The Law Office of David Hunt, I help people who are unable to earn a living due to work-related injuries and illnesses to pursue the benefits they need. From my office in Peoria, Illinois, I assist clients with permanent disability and workers’ compensation claims throughout Peoria, Caswell, and Woodford Counties. Set up a consultation with me today.
Permanent Disability in Illinois
When you are injured on the job or are diagnosed with a work-related illness, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance should cover all medical expenses and some or all of your lost wages. A work-related injury or illness, though, can turn into a permanent disability. The workers’ comp system in Illinois recognizes two types of permanent disabilities:
Permanent partial disability (PPD) is when a worker has recovered enough to return to work but still has a permanent disability that prevents them from working at full capacity. In most cases, PPD benefits are paid after a worker reaches maximum medical improvement and after a determination for permanent disability has been made by the doctor.
Permanent total disability (PTD) is when a worker is deemed permanently disabled and is no longer capable of doing work in any capacity. Once a worker’s PTD claim is accepted, the worker can get a lump-sum payment or receive installment payments, depending on their preference. Typically, installment payments are paid until the worker reaches the age of 70.
If you were deemed permanently disabled—partially or totally—reach out to a permanent disability attorney in Peoria, Illinois, to ensure that you obtain the benefits to which you are entitled under the law.
Determination of Permanent Disability
Both types of permanent disability—partial and total—are determined by the same factors, including:
The nature and extent of your injury;
Your age, education, and work history; and
Your ability to perform certain tasks before and after the injury.
To determine your level of disability, a doctor will evaluate your injury and assign a percentage rating called an impairment rating. This rating is based on the guidelines of the American Medical Association. Once your impairment rating is determined, it is translated into a percentage of your whole-body impairment. This percentage is then used to determine your level of disability and your workers’ compensation benefits.
Eligibility for Permanent Disability Benefits
Permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits are awarded to those who suffered:
A complete/partial of a body part or its use; or
A partial loss of use of the body as a whole.
The term “loss of use” means that the person is unable to do things he/she could do before the disability. The eligibility for permanent partial disability benefits is determined after a worker reaches maximum medical improvement. Illinois law requires employers to pay PPD benefits to workers who suffer from work-related:
When a worker suffers any of the above-mentioned conditions but is able to do work in some capacity, they can receive PPD benefits. Permanent total disability (PTD) benefits, on the other hand, are available when a worker is unable to work or engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA) because of the condition.
An Attorney Can Help You Fight for Maximum Recovery for a Permanent Disability
If you have suffered a permanent disability, it is crucial to work with an experienced attorney. A permanent disability attorney can help you fight for maximum recovery by:
Ensuring that you receive a fair impairment rating
Making sure that all of your medical bills are paid
Seeking compensation for lost wages and future earnings
Negotiating a lump-sum settlement if appropriate
A workers’ compensation attorney will also be there to answer your questions and guide you through the often-complicated workers’ compensation process.
What to Do If Your Permanent Disability Claim Was Denied
If your claim for permanent disability was denied, you still have options. A lawyer can help you file an appeal and fight for your rights. Some common reasons for a claim denial include:
Your injury was not work-related
You did not report your injury in a timely manner
You did not seek medical treatment for your injury
There is a lack of medical evidence to prove your permanent disability
You failed to follow treatment advice
An attorney can help you address these issues and build a strong case to get the benefits you deserve.
Getting Back to Life After a Permanent Disability
While a permanent disability can be life-changing, it is not the end of your life. There are resources available to help you adjust to your new circumstances, including:
Disability advocacy groups
These resources can help you learn new skills, find new employment opportunities, and connect with others who understand what you are going through.
Permanent Disability Attorney in Peoria, Illinois
At The Law Office of David Hunt, I understand that a permanent disability can impact every aspect of your life. That is why I am committed to helping people who are unable to support themselves and provide for their families to seek financial security that will allow them to move forward. Reach out to my office in Peoria to schedule a free consultation and talk about your case.