Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act Attorneys

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act provides workers with the option for legal recourse in the event of an injury on the job. This guide provides a brief outline of the Act as it applies to injuries sustained on or before February 1, 2006. It is intended to provide a quick reference to aid your understanding of the law and assist you in claiming your rights.

For complete information regarding the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act or your workers’ compensation claim, please contact the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio today

Types of Benefits under Workers’ Compensation Act

Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, you may be entitled to the following benefits from your employer if you are injured at work:  payment of weekly compensation, all reasonable and necessary medical expenses, permanent disability, serious and permanent disfigurement, and death benefits.

Rates of Compensation: How much will you get?

Your weekly compensation rates are the basis for determining benefits under the Act. There are two compensation rates—both are fixed as of the date of your accident. Each of these rates is a percentage of your average straight time weekly earnings for the year before your accident. However, these rates are subject to maximum limits and minimums for low-paid workers.  There may also be exclusions of overtime earnings in this calculation depending on certain circumstances.

The first rate applies to three types of payments you may receive: temporary total, total disability, and death. This rate is two-thirds of your average weekly earnings, limited by a maximum that is subject to change every January 15 and July 15, according to fluctuations in the statewide average wage.

The second rate applies to permanent partial disabilities, such as specific loss, and is set at 60 percent of your average weekly wage.

Types of Payments

Temporary Total Compensation (“TT”)

If you are unable to work for more than three working days as a result of your injury on the job, you are entitled to weekly payments at the rates outlined above. If your period of total disability extends beyond fourteen calendar days from the date of injury, then you are entitled to payment for the first three days of that period as well.
Temporary total compensation continues as long as you are totally disabled and receiving treatment.

Temporary Partial Disability

If an employee is working light duty on a part- or full-time basis as a result of an on-the-job injury and is earning less than he or she would earn if employed in the full capacity of the job, than the employee is entitled to temporary partial disability benefits.

Permanent Disability, Disfigurement or Death

You may be entitled to additional compensation if you qualify for any one of the following. These payments, like all workers’ compensation payments, are tax-free.

Specific Loss Compensation

A specific loss occurs when an injury results in the permanent or partial loss of use of a specific part of the body. In this case, compensation is based on the percentage of loss of use of that “member.” Recovery is also allowed for partial loss of hearing due to industrial noise.

Person as a Whole

A worker who is disabled may receive up to 500 weeks of compensation for partial disability to the whole body. A partial loss of a specific body part may be compensated under this provision if the loss affects the ability to earn your full wages, such as the ability to work overtime.

Permanent Earnings Loss

A permanent reduction in earnings capability is also compensable, though the wage loss will be subject to a cap.  Permanent earnings loss is payable as long as the disability lasts, and is paid as 66-2/3% of the post-injury reduction in earnings.

Permanent Total Disability

If an injury results in complete disability so that the employee is wholly and permanently incapable of work, compensation is payable weekly until death, or until the employee is able to return to work.

The total loss of both hands, arms, feet, legs, eyes, or any two of these (for example, one arm and one leg) constitutes permanent total disability and entitles the employee to weekly compensation payments until death even if the employee can work.

Disfigurement Compensation

An employee who suffers permanent scars on the hand, head, face, neck, arm, upper chest or the leg below the knee may recover for disfigurement. The amount payable varies in each case, depending on the seriousness of the disfigurement, but it cannot exceed 150 weeks of permanent partial disability payments.

Fatal Injury Compensation

When an employee dies as a result of accidental injuries on the job, leaving a widow or widower, children or other dependent heirs, compensation may be payable. A widow or widower receives the compensation rate each week until she or he dies, up to a maximum of 25 years, or until she or he has received $500,000.00, whichever is greater. However, if the widow or widower remarries at a time when there are no dependent children, she or he receives only a lump sum of two years compensation. Children may receive benefits up to age 25 if they are full-time students. There is also a burial benefit of $8,000.00.

Navigating workers’ compensation laws and filing a claim can be complicated. If you have been injured at work, contact our workers’ compensation law firm [link] for a free consultation. Our attorneys will assist you with your workers’ compensation claim and get you the benefits you deserve.