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How are my workers’ compensation benefits going to be calculated? P.2

Last time, we began discussing the question of how workers’ compensation disability benefits are calculated. We’ve already spoken about temporary partial disability benefits. Here’ll we’ll look at how temporary total disability is calculated.

Temporary total disability is available to employees who have been injured on the job and are, as a result, temporarily unable to return to work in any capacity or who are able to return to light-duty work but whose employer cannot accommodate light-duty. For temporary total disability, benefits are paid to the employee until he or she has returned to work or has reached what is called “maximum medical improvement.” 

The calculation for temporary total disability benefits is fairly straightforward: two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage. There are, however, minimum and maximum limits that must be followed. The maximum amount varies depending on when the accident occurred. For accidents which occurred between July 15, 2015 and January 14, 2016, the maximum amount available is $1,379.73 per week. The minimum amount available depends on the number of children an employee has, as well as whether there is a spouse or not. For an employee with two children and a spouse, the minimum amount available is the employee’s average weekly wage or $319, whichever is lower.

Average weekly wage is generally based on an employee’s gross wages during the previous 52 weeks, but the calculation can be altered by various factors, such as whether the employee had more than one job at the time of injury.

Permanent partial and permanent total disability is a bit more complicated to calculate, and we’ll look at these in our next post.

Sources:

Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, “Handbook on Workers’ Compensation And Occupational Diseases,” Jan. 2013.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, Benefit Rates, Accessed Jan. 5, 2016. 

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