They say that the only two sure things in life are death and taxes. Well I’m here to tell you that there is a third sure thing. If the insurance company can think of a way to cut off your benefits they will try it.
This latest effort over the last few years is a scam to try and cut off your TTD benefits with something called temporary transitional employment or TTE. In a nutshell, you get hurt at work and have restrictions that your employer can’t accommodate. Instead of paying you TTD benefits and have you sitting at home, the employer wants to pay you TTD and make you go work for a non-profit or charity.
They sell it as they are trying to help you transition back to full duty work eventually, but the reality is that they want you to refuse the assignment so they can cut off your benefits all together. Imagine you’ve been a welder your whole life and now they want you to sit in an office and answer a phone all day or stuff envelopes.
It all sounds nice in theory, but the reality is that it doesn’t prepare you to get back to your actual job and doesn’t allow you to focus on your health and recovery. Beyond all of that, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission has ruled that you don’t have to take this sham assignment if you don’t want to.
I will note that the validity of TTE assignments has not yet gone to the Appellate Court and I imagine it will some day, so it’s possible that this advice will change. That said, aside from the fact that these jobs aren’t real, there are issues such as what if you get hurt on this “volunteer” job. Who would cover that new case, the new employer or the old one? What happens when this assignment asks you to do work beyond your restrictions? What are you supposed to do about days when you have to go to the doctor or physical therapy.
The geniuses who thought up TTE want nothing more than to increase their bottom line. There is also a hint of they want to “make you earn it” as if you didn’t risk your health by doing your normal job duties that got you here in the first place.
The bottom line is that, as of now, you don’t have to go along with this assignment, but don’t be surprised if they try to fight you or come up with other ways to cut you off. It’s always about their bottom line to them.
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