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Permanent Total Disability (PTD): What You Need To Know About Workers’ Compensation

Last updated Friday, August 13th, 2021

Permanent Total Disability (PTD): What You Need To Know About Workers’ Compensation

What is Permanent Total Disability?

Permanent total disability (PTD) is part of the Illinois workers’ compensation system. It’s designed to provide lifetime financial support to you if you’ve sustained a permanent work-related injury or illness and are unable to work.

Permanent Total Disability Benefits Under Illinois Workers’ Compensation Law

You’re eligible for permanent total disability – PTD in Illinois if the following applies to your situation:

  • You’re completely unable to work, permanently.
  • You’ve suffered the loss of use of both eyes, hands, arms, legs, feet (or any combination thereof).

If either of these describes your situation, then you need to reach out to us today so we can be sure you’re getting the benefits you’re entitled to!

Have you or a loved one suffered from an injury at work?
Call Attorney Marc Shuman
(312) 460-2572 for FREE Legal Advice!

If you’ve been permanently injured at work, then you have the right to receive lifetime disability benefits, which are equal to two-thirds (66.6%) of your average weekly wage. It’s also important to note that this is subject to a maximum of 133.3% of the state average weekly wage at the time of your injury.

PTD benefits are typically only paid after you’ve received treatment and your doctor has determined that you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), which means that your injury will not improve further.

Permanent Total Disability (PTD) vs. Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)

What is a permanent total disability? PTD (permanent total disability) benefits apply to workers who are completely and permanently unable to work. On the other hand, workers who are partially disabled, but still able to work, can receive permanent partial disability benefits.

What Benefits Does PTD Provide?

The primary PTD worker’s comp benefit is monetary compensation to help you survive without your normal paycheck, as described above. Depending on your specific circumstances you may also be eligible for medical benefits but those benefits usually only last for a limited time.

Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): Understanding Your Rights

Permanent Total Disability Workers Comp Benefits Illinois

Permanent partial disability (PPD) is part of the workers’ compensation system in the state of Illinois and it’s designed to cover employees who have sustained a permanent work-related injury or illness but are still able to work.

Permanent partial disability (PPD) includes:

  • The complete or partial loss of a body part such as losing an arm in an accident.
  • Complete or partial loss of the use of part of the body as in not being able to partially/fully use one arm because of nerve damage.
  • The partial loss of the use of the body as a whole as in no longer being able to lift heavy objects because of a back injury.

4 Types of Permanent Partial Disability Benefits Under Illinois Workers’ Compensation Law

If you’ve been permanently disabled by a work-related injury in the state of Illinois then you may be entitled to permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits. The benefits are typically paid by your employer or your employer’s workers’ comp insurance company after you’ve recovered and your doctor has confirmed that you’ve reached “maximum medical improvement” (MMI). In other words, that your injury has healed to the greatest extent possible and will improve no further.

Because permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits are handled at the state level, they can vary greatly from state to state. Different states use different approaches to calculating benefits.

In Illinois, your employer and/or the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) will calculate your PPD benefits in one of the following four ways:

1. Wage Differential

If you had to switch jobs as a result of physical impairments because of your injury/illness, like switching from a construction job to an office job, and the new job pays less than your former job, you can receive a wage differential of two-thirds (66.6%) of the difference between your former and current gross weekly wage. However, there is a weekly cap on the wage differential.

2. Scheduled Injury

As an alternative to the wage differential, you can collect a permanent disability payment based on 60% of your average weekly wage. The state of Illinois caps the number of weeks you can collect payment for injury to 25 specific body parts.

For example, the maximum number of weeks you can collect for a hand injury is 205 weeks. For an arm amputated above the elbow, the max is 270 weeks. The scheduled injury benefit is calculated by multiplying the number of weeks by 60% of your average weekly wage. So, if your average weekly wage was $500 when you lost complete use of one hand, you’d take 60% of that amount ($300) and multiply it by the number of weeks for that body part (205) to arrive at a total payout of $61,500.

3. Permanent Loss of Person as a Whole

This method is applicable when your condition isn’t among the 25 injuries on the schedule. Also called the nonscheduled injury method, it considers your age, occupation, skill, pain, limitation of motion, and inability to perform certain tasks. In short, it measures the effect of your disability on your life and comes up with a percentage of impairment to you as a whole. That number is multiplied by 500 weeks to determine the total number of weeks to which you’re entitled.

It’s then necessary to multiply the total number of weeks by 60% of your average weekly wage. For example, if your disability means the loss of use of your whole person by 40%, you will multiply that percentage by 500 to arrive at a figure of 200 weeks. If you were earning $500/week on average, 60% of that is $300. You would then multiply 200 weeks by $300 to arrive at a total payout of $60,000.

4. Disfigurement

If you suffered a serious, permanent change to your appearance (such as a burn or cut to your face, head, neck, hands, arms, or lower legs) the disfigurement will be assigned a value. This is up to a maximum of 162 weeks. It’s then necessary to multiply the number of weeks by 60% of your average weekly wage to determine your benefit. For example, your disfigurement has a value of 150 weeks and 60% of your average weekly wage is $300. Therefore, the calculation would be: 150 weeks x $300/week = $45,000. This is your total benefit amount.

Have you or a loved one suffered from an injury at work?
Call Attorney Marc Shuman
(312) 460-2572 for FREE Legal Advice!

Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) vs. Permanent Total Disability (PTD)

If you’re partially disabled but still able to work then you can receive permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits benefits. But, not necessarily in the same job. On the other hand, if you’re completely and permanently unable to work can receive permanent total disability benefits.

Why You Want Legal Representation For Your PTD or PPD Claim

Having a skilled workers’ compensation attorney at your side significantly increases your chances of securing a more favorable permanent total disability outcome. The experienced attorneys at The Law Offices of Shuman Legal understand disability law in the state of Illinois and will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve, so that you and your family can move forward with a secure financial future.


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