Our goal is always to explain things in plain English and in a way that makes sense. Hopefully, we don’t toss around legal terms without explaining what they mean. If we do, we apologize. Here is a list of some of the most common acronyms used in Illinois workers’ compensation cases, along with (we hope) a basic explanation. If you want to know more, you can always call us and ask.
TTD. Temporary Total Disability. TTD is what you get if you can’t work while you recover from your injury. TTD benefits are checks for 2/3 of your average weekly wage while you can’t work. Your doctor needs to agree that you cannot work. Your employer’s insurance company might argue that you are not entitled to TTD, either because you can work light duty or because your injury was not related to work, etc. This is common but doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be getting TTD.
PPD. Permanent Partial Disability. This is what you get if your work injury leaves you with a permanent disability, such as the loss of the use of a part of your body. PPD is based on a calculation that includes your average weekly wage and the extent of your disability. PPD is generally paid as a settlement at the end of your case.
PTD. Permanent Total Disability. If you are seriously injured and disabled and can’t return to any kind of work at all, then you are entitled to ongoing PTD payments.
FCE. Functional Capacity Evaluation. This is a test that your doctor will use in order to determine your ability to do your job. It will determine what restrictions, if any, you will need when you return to work.
IME. Independent Medical Exam. When the insurance company disagrees with your doctor’s medical opinion, they can try to dispute it with a second opinion. In order to do this, they require you to attend an IME. This is where a supposedly impartial doctor gives that second opinion. If you have a credible doctor and you are being honest about your injuries, then there is no reason an IME opinion should win out over your own doctor’s.
MMI. Maximum Medical Improvement. Not everyone fully recovers from a work injury, but they usually get to a point where they are as good as they are going to get. In other words, further medical treatment isn’t going to make a difference (in a doctor’s opinion). This is called MMI, and it’s at this point that claims tend to settle. It’s important that you don’t settle until you believe you have reached MMI because you won’t get further medical coverage after settlement.
AWW. Average Weekly Wage. When you get benefits for lost wages they are calculated by using your average weekly wage. Your AWW is based on the 52 weeks prior to your injury. Although it might sound straightforward, make sure the calculation is done correctly. The insurance company wants to work off of a lower AWW (in order to pay you less), but they might not be including everything that they should.