If you have been injured on the job, you have the right to claim workers’ compensation benefits that can help offset the cost of your injury and a portion of your lost income. The amount of benefits you receive will depend on what your injury is classified as and when you sustained the injury. To understand what you are entitled to, and to give yourself the best chance of success with your claim, here’s what you need to know about Illinois workers’ compensation benefit rates in 2021.
Contact Jerome, Salmi & Kopis, LLC today to workers’ compensation lawyer who can help you through the process.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a legal remedy that allows injured workers to claim compensation after a workplace accident that results in injury. Nearly every employer in Illinois is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in the event that an employee becomes hurt on the job.
Unlike personal injury claims, workers’ compensation operates on a no-fault system. This means that even if you contributed to cause the accident that resulted in your injuries, you can still claim workers’ compensation benefits. However, it also means that you forfeit your right to sue your employer when they caused an accident that resulted in injury.
Under workers’ compensation law, you can claim a number of different benefits, depending on the type and severity of your injury. The benefits you can claim include:
- Medical expenses
- Temporary total disability benefits equivalent to two-thirds of the employee’s wages if the employee cannot return to work as they recover (TTD)
- Permanent partial disability benefits for an injury to a specific body part
- Wage differential benefits when an injury results in the inability to return to the same level of earnings
- Permanent total disability benefits when a worker is unable to return to any work
- Vocational services and maintenance benefits
Temporary Total Disability (TTD) Rates
The minimum TTD rates that apply to your case will depend on your marital status and whether or not you have children. The benefit rates for January 15, 2021 to July 14, 2021 are as follows:
- Single: $293.33
- Married without children or single with one: $337.33
- Married with one child or single with two: $381.33
- Married with two children or single with three: $425.33
- Married with three children or single with four: $440
- Married with four children or single with five: $440
The rate you receive for your TTD cannot exceed your average weekly wage (AWW). The rate is equivalent to 100 percent of your AWW, or the above minimum, whichever is less. The maximum you can receive for a TTD, death, or amputation is 133 and one-third percent of the state’s AWW. The minimum permanent total disability (PTD) and amputation is set at 50 percent of the state’s AWW. From July 15, 2021 through to January 14, 2022, the state’s average weekly wage is set at $1,270.32.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Rates
Like TTD, the rate that applies to your PPD case will depend on your marital and parental status. Those rates are the same as they are for a temporary total disability. The maximum PPD rate for cases involving amputation or permanent damage to the eye is increased to the TTD maximum, but the PPD rate will still be calculated as 60 percent of the employee’s average weekly wage.
PPD, PTD, and TTD: What is the Difference?
When workplace accidents result in minor injuries that do not require any treatment other than first aid and employees do not miss time from work, they might not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. To be eligible for workers’ compensation lost time benefits, you generally must not be able to work for a certain period of time due to the workplace injury or occupational disease. Workers that are unable to return to work as classified as one of the following:
- Temporary partial disability: A temporary partial disability is one that only partially disables a worker for a short period of time or to a limited extent. For example, a factory worker that broke their foot may not be able to stand for long periods of time, but they may be able to perform modified tasks. If an employee returns to work for reduced hours or at a reduced rate of pay, they may be eligible for TPD benefits.
- Temporary total disability: When an employee cannot work at all for a certain period of time, they are eligible for temporary total disability benefits. For example, if a construction worker broke their hand, they may be unable to perform any tasks at all. When their doctor has them off work entirely or on light duty restrictions which the employer is not able to accommodate, they can then recover TTD benefits until they are able to return to work.
- Permanent partial disability: Workers who sustain injuries requiring medical treatment and have some residuals from the injury, may be eligible for PPD benefits. While the worker can likely return to work, their earnings may be diminished because of their injury and they may have some long-term consequences from the injury.
- Permanent total disability: When an injury or disease has no cure or leaves an employee with such significant symptoms that the employee cannot return to their pre-injury job and if they cannot re-enter the workforce, they may be eligible for PTD benefits.
Insurance companies are often reluctant to pay out on more significant disability claims because they are generally larger in value than smaller claims. They may try to argue that your injuries were not caused by a workplace accident, or that you intentionally inflicted harm on yourself. They are often successful with these claims and when that is the case, you will not receive the full benefits you deserve. An Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer can advise on how the law applies to your case, and help you recover the full benefits you need.
Get Legal Help Today
If you have suffered a disability as a result of a workplace accident, our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Office of Jerome, Salmi & Kopis, LLC can advise on your case. We will defend against any argument the insurer or your employer tries to use, and we will negotiate aggressively on your behalf for the fair settlement you need to cover the cost of your injury. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.