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How are my workers’ compensation benefits going to be calculated? P.1

Workers’ compensation benefits are a critical support for injured workers, particularly those who suffer serious on-the-job injury qualifying for permanent disability benefits. Usually, when an injured worker files for workers’ compensation benefits, he or she does not know exactly what benefits he or she will qualify for, or the amount he or she can expect for payments.

Benefits are calculated according to established formulas and are subject to maximum and minimum limits established by the Illinois Department of Employment Security. In this and future posts, we’ll take a look at how temporary total and temporary partial disability benefits, permanent total and permanent partial disability benefits, and death benefits are calculated. 

A temporary partial disability benefit is the benefit an injured worker receives while he or she is still healing and earning less than he or she was earning prior to injury. These benefits are paid until the worker has reached what is termed “maximum medical improvement.” An injured workers’ temporary partial disability benefit is calculated differently depending on whether the injury occurred on or after June 28, 2011 or before that date.

The calculation for injuries on or after that date is two-thirds of the difference between the employee’s average earnings prior to the injury and the gross amount he or she earns in light-duty work. The only difference in the calculation for injuries prior to June 28, 2011 is that the net amount of the employee’s earnings in light-duty are used rather than the gross amount.

In upcoming posts, we’ll look at the other forms of workers’ compensation benefits mentioned above.

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