A recent caller had a common situation.  He’d never been hurt at work before. He works Monday to Friday in Chicago.  He got hurt on a Monday and went straight to the hospital with a shoulder injury.  The doctor said it was a sprain and told him to take off the rest of the week.  He went back the following Monday and was released back to work. He missed five total work days, seven calendar days.

The insurance company accepted the case, but said they weren’t going to pay for the lost time.  The company told him he had to use his sick or vacation days.  He didn’t want to.  What should have happened?

Under Illinois law, if you are authorized off work by a doctor for a work related accident, the insurance company does not have to pay the first three calendar days that you miss.  They must start paying you benefits on the 4th day missed.  If you miss 14 or more days, they then have to go back and pay you for the first three days.

The key point is that calendar days count, not scheduled work days.  So in this case, the worker missed a total of seven calendar days of work.  He should then be entitled to four days of TTD benefits because the first three aren’t paid until he missed 14 total days.

The biggest concern is being asked to use sick or vacation days.  That’s against the law and should not happen if you were hurt while working.  The good news is that these can easily be reinstated if your lawyer knows what they are doing.

This injured worker seems to be fine, but if he ended up with a torn rotator cuff or torn labrum and had surgery that kept him off work for three months, he’d have to remember those first three days because you can bet that the insurance company will somehow “forget” about them.  Every penny counts to them, but this is your life, so it should count to you too.

Does this make sense? Any questions about TTD benefits or anything else? Call us any time at (312) 346-5578 or fill out the contact form to the right and we’ll call you. It’s free and confidential.