How Long Does Workers’ Compensation Last In Illinois?

If you or somebody you love has sustained an injury at work, you should be able to rely on receiving workers’ compensation coverage in Illinois. Workers’ compensation insurance is a “no-fault” system, meaning that a person can receive coverage regardless of who was at fault for the injury. These benefits are an important lifeline for those who need medical care and lost income coverage after they have sustained an on the job injury. But how long can an employee receive workers’ compensation benefits?

Four Categories of Worker Benefits

When analyzing how long somebody can receive workers’ compensation benefits in Illinois, we have to break this down into the different categories of benefits available.

1.      Medical Benefits

Workers’ compensation insurance companies are responsible for covering payment of reasonable and necessary medical care connected to the work injury. These benefits are wide-ranging and include doctor visits, hospital stays, physical therapy, prescription and over-the-counter medication, surgery, and more. Payment for medical benefits will continue until a physician determines that a person has made the maximum medical recovery.

2.      Wage Replacement Benefits

Wage replacement benefits can be partial or total and are designed to help ensure that the injured worker has access to their income during the recovery process if they are unable to work. Temporary total disability (TTD) benefits typically offer 2/3 of the wages the injured worker was receiving at the time of their injury. Temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits operate a bit differently. These benefits will pay 2/3 of the difference between the wages a worker earned before their injury and the wages a worker earned after their injury if they have returned to work and are making less money.

Wage differential benefits are paid for five years after the award is determined or until the injured victim reaches the age of 67, whichever is later.

3.      Permanent Partial Disability Benefits

Permanent partial disability benefits are calculated differently than wage replacement. Here, permanent refers to the nature of the injury and not the benefits. The amount and duration of these benefits will depend on the nature of the injury and the limitations of the worker. Those who have reached maximum medical recovery and are unable to return to work earning their pre-injury income will receive partial benefits for up to five years or until they reached the age of 67, whichever comes first.

If a worker has an injury that is considered a “scheduled” loss, such as vision loss or amputation, benefits will be available for a pre-determined number of weeks set forth under Illinois law. If an injury does not fall under the schedule of benefits, but still constitutes a significant loss for the victim, they may be eligible for up to 500 weeks of a percentage of their benefits. Workers who sustain an injury that disfigures certain areas of their body may be entitled to up to 162 weeks of partial wage benefits.

4.      Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits

If an injured worker is unable to return to their previous job, workers’ compensation in Illinois will provide coverage for various services to help the employee regain their earning potential. In some cases, this can include employment counseling, resume assistance, and job search assistance. In other cases, this could include helping the employee training for a new skill set. The length of these benefits will depend on how quickly the employee is able to regain comparable employment and compensation.

Questions? Contact Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates

Workers’ compensation should be straight forward however, insurance companies often try to find ways to pay injured workers less then they deserve. If you are unsure of the benefits you should be receiving, you may need to hire a workers’ compensation attorney. Contact the Chicago workers’ comp lawyers at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates today for a free consultation.