Bogus job offers

Under Illinois work comp law, if you have any physical job restrictions, generally speaking you are entitled to continued payment of TTD benefits until a job is  found for you within your restrictions or you no longer have the physical restrictions.

For example, we represented a laborer with a major ankle injury which prevented him from being able to lift heavy objects or walk on un-even ground.  His foot surgeon gave him permanent restrictions of no lifting more than 20 pounds along with walking on even ground.

There was no job available within those restrictions and he ended up on TTD benefits for two years until a job was found for him.

Recently we had a case where a client also had a major injury, this one was to her back.  She had a ten pound lifting restriction.  The "smart" insurance company sent a letter saying that a job was available and she should report.  Of course it was a bogus job offer as there was nothing available within her restrictions.  She was harassed at work when she wouldn't risk further injury by doing the job they asked and got sent home.  The insurance company cut off her TTD benefits which was against the law.

Of course this case was taken to an arbitrator and won all of the back benefits as there was no basis for cutting him off.  A bogus job offer can't screw up your honest claim.

If you have restrictions from a work injury and a light duty job offer is made that will allegedly accommodate those restrictions, you should try that job, see if you can do it, but above all, don't feel pressured to do things that are beyond your restrictions.  There is nothing more important than your health and no worker should make themselves physically worse because the employer or insurance company isn't following the law.

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.

Illinois workers' compensation- IME doctors against the treating physician

This question came in from a reader:

My question is can Work Comp make you see their Doctor and go by his orders on stating you can return to work light duty when my own Doctor who performed my shoulder surgery stated I am not to return to work.

That's a good question and a scenario that pops up a lot.  If the insurance company has a doctor that says you are fine, they can rely on that opinion to deny you benefits.  In other words, can they do it, yes, but you do have options.

Option 1 is to try to go back to work and see what happens.  If you give it a go and it doesn't work then all of the sudden the opinion of the company doctor isn't very credible as long as you are credible when testifying.  Of course we can understand why you wouldn't want to do that because nothing is more important than your health so why should you risk it?

Option 2 is to go to trial and pit your doc against theirs.  Injured workers win most of these battles.  But nothing is guaranteed and even if you win you might be without money for quite some time which is really like losing in the end.

Option 3 is to see if the company will work with you.  Often the insurance company tells you one thing, but the employer is a good guy that says something else.  So if your boss wants to listen to your doctor then you might be ok.

Not one option is right for everyone.  You have to decide what is best for you.

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.