Hurt at Work? How to Get PAID While Off Work?

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December 25  

Getting Paid While Off Work

We're going to talk about how to get you paid if you're off work due to a work injury. The first thing for you to know is that you're supposed to get paid two-thirds of your pay when you're off work due to a work injury. That's what the Illinois workers compensation Act says, and is supposed to happen. But we all know sometimes it doesn't. Employers and their workers compensation insurance companies try not to pay injured workers when they're out of work because they got hurt at work. 

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Two-Thirds Of Your Salary

So the first thing you need to know is that if you get hurt at work and you're off work, you're supposed to get 2/3 of your salary. But they don't take out taxes. Even though you're only getting paid two-thirds of what you normally get paid, the fact that they're not taking out payroll taxes, means it's pretty comparable. You should be getting pretty close to what you would normally be getting if you were working.

TTD Or Temporary Total Disability

The second thing you need to know if you're off work due to a work injury is that, you're only going to get paid that money called TTD or temporary total disability, if you have a doctor's note. No doctors note, no pay. That's because the company is entitled to a medical opinion explaining that you were hurt and that you're off work because you got hurt on the job. You need a doctor's note in order to prove that you're off work because of the work injury and that you're actually physically not able to do the job.

Different Work Off Notes

The third thing you need to understand is that there's a difference between work off work notes. There are full duty work restrictions and partial duty work restrictions.

A full duty work restriction means your doctor thinks that you can't work at all. You need to be completely off work and that usually happens with serious injuries or neck or back injuries, because if you've got those sorts of injuries there's not much you can do without pain.

The other kind of restriction is the partial duty restriction. That usually happens where somebody's hand is hurt, but they can still walk and see and do other things that don't involve using that hand. But it also involves things like back injuries or leg injuries where you're able to sit and do work, that's a partial restriction.

If you have a full duty restriction, that means you can't work at all, if you have a partial restriction that you might be able to do something for the company. If the company accommodates your restriction, then you have to go to work and try to do it. If you have a partial restriction and they ask you to come to work, they have to keep the work they asked you to do within your physical limitations contained in that restriction. In other words, they're not allowed to ask you to do work that your doctor is telling you that you shouldn't do.

Work Within Restriction

If your employer doesn't offer you work within your restriction, then you're entitled to get paid off while you're off work. Or if they make you come into work and ask you to do things outside your restriction, you should go back to the doctor to report that and the doctor is likely to keep you completely off work. Your employer is not allowed to ask you to do things that are beyond your restriction in the note that the doctor gave you.

Now just because they're supposed to pay you while you're off work doesn't mean that they actually will. Lots of people get cheated out of their off work pay. But if that happens to you, you can go to the Workers Compensation Commission and force them to pay you the money that you're owed.

Filling 19 B Petition

What happens is, you file what's called a 19 B petition and you get in front of the arbitrator or judge at the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission. They hear evidence and decide whether the company owes you the money or not. They'll also rule that the company has to continue paying you until your doctor gives you a full duty work release to return to work. Unfortunately filing a 19 B petition and getting in front of a judge or arbitrator to rule on your lost wages usually takes 30 to 60 days. So it can be a bit of a wait.

Now you know the basics of how to get paid if you're off work due to a work injury. I really hope this information helps you. If you have some questions about your situation please feel free to send me a message and I'll point you in the right direction.

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