When you’re unable to do your regular job while you’re recovering from a work injury, you can receive temporary total disability (TTD) benefits for that period of time.  The TTD benefits should continue, while you’re still not able to return to full work and your condition is still improving and hasn’t stabilized.

During the TTD period, your doctor may allow you to do some restricted work that won’t affect your injury.  This work should also not affect your TTD benefits.  Even though you are working, you’re not doing your usual job duties or activities.

Recently, a case in Illinois looked at what happens with TTD benefits, when a worker steps outside his restrictions, and perform tasks that use the affected body parts.  In this situation, a worker injured his left hand and shoulder.  He was restricted to jobs that only used the right side of his body, while his left side was healing.  However he took a job where he used his left arm and hand, and ran into trouble.

The injuries to his left side increased, and his right hand started to have problems as well.  To make matters worse, his TTD was cut off because he appeared to be working full duty. 

In the end, though, his TTD was reinstated. The court said that just because he was in fact working beyond his restrictions, it was not his intention to do that, nor was he able to do it successfully.   In fact, he had tried to work without using his left side, and injured his other side in the process.  Also, he was able to show that his injuries had not stabilized, and he was still in a lot of pain and limited movement from the original accident.

What was key for this worker’s case was that he had been honest with his doctor, and told the doctor all along of his pain and problems he was experiencing.  He was able to show the court medical records which detailed the complaints he had been making about his left side issues, during the whole time he was trying to work.

Because the medical records and physician’s opinions showed that his injury was continuing to affect him and affect his work, he could continue to receive TTD benefits.  The fact that he seemed to be using part of his body that was restricted was not enough to cut off the benefit.  His condition was not stabilized, just because he tried a job and couldn’t do it without further pain and injury.

Your medical records and the testimony of your doctors treating you can tell the real story of your injury.  Here, other factors clouded the picture.  But in the end, just because work restrictions weren’t actually followed wasn’t enough to overcome what the medical proof showed about the ongoing injury.

We are workers’ compensation attorneys that help people with Illinois work injuries anywhere in IL via our statewide network of attorneys.  Contact us and we will answer your questions or find the right lawyer for your situation.

We are workers’ compensation attorneys that help people with Illinois work injuries anywhere in IL via our statewide network of attorneys.  Contact us and we will answer your questions or find the right lawyer for your situation.