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How Long Do Workers’ Comp Benefits Last in Illinois?

How Long Do Workers’ Comp Benefits Last in Illinois?


Workers’ compensation benefits can be the one thing that brings relief to an individual during a difficult time in their life following a major or minor work-related injury. An essential question many recipients will have is: how long does workers’ comp last in Illinois? The length of time you can receive workers’ compensation benefits depends on the type of injury sustained and which one of four disability categories it falls into.

The four categories that can affect the period of compensation are Permanent Total Disability, Permanent Partial Disability, Temporary Total Disability, and Temporary Partial Disability. Below, the Illinois workers’ comp attorneys from Rubens Kress & Mulholland provide insight into how long coverage within each category may last.

Permanent Total Disability

If you suffer a work injury that leaves you completely and permanently unable to work, or if you lose the use of both legs, arms, eyes, hands, or feet, or a combination of two body parts, your injury would fall under Permanent Total Disability (PTD). With PTD, you should be eligible to receive weekly workers’ comp benefits for life. 

Permanent Partial Disability

Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) means a worker has lost the use or partial use of a body part, such as their hand or leg, or they have lost partial use of their body as a whole, leaving them unable to do some of the things they could before their accident. There are four types of PPD benefits in Illinois, and the length of time you can receive benefits with each will vary:

  • Wage Differential Benefits: In some cases, you may be able to return to work, but you could have lower earnings due to your PPD. In this case, you may be able to secure a wage differential award. This would award you two-thirds of the difference between your pay at your new job and what you were earning at your job before the accident. Wage differential benefits stop after five years or when you turn 67, whichever happens later. 
  • Scheduled Injury Awards: With a scheduled injury award, you can collect a weekly PPD payment that is based on 60% of your average weekly wage. In Illinois, there is a comprehensive schedule that sets a maximum number of weeks an individual can be paid benefits based on the body part that was injured. 
  • Nonscheduled Awards: If you injure a body part that is not listed on the schedule, you may be entitled to a nonscheduled award equal to 60% of your average weekly wage prior to your injury, for a certain percentage of 500 weeks. The number of weeks you can receive benefits is partially dependent on the disability rating your doctor assigns to your injury. 
  • Disfigurement Benefits: If an area of your body that is visible to the public is permanently disfigured, you can receive up to 162 weeks of 60% of your average weekly wage depending on the severity of the disfigurement. 

Please note that, unlike other areas of injury law, you must choose which of the PPD theories you wish to proceed on. You can only get one of the types of awards discussed above. So, for example, if you are burned at work you can either collect PPD or disfigurement, but not both. It is important to have a competent attorney to consult with you on which type of PPD you should claim at trial so as to maximize the value of your claim.

Temporary Total Disability

Temporary Total Disability (TTD) is applicable in cases where the employee is completely unable to perform their job duties temporarily, but is expected to make a recovery and return to work in the future. How long does workers’ comp last with TTD? These benefits continue until your doctor determines you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), meaning you’ve healed to the fullest extent possible.

Temporary Partial Disability

Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) benefits are intended for injured workers who are able to return to work on light-duty or perform part-time work during the recovery period. These benefits are designed to make up some of the difference between your light-duty or part-time earnings and what you were earning pre-injury. TPD benefits are awarded while you are recovering and are rescinded when your doctor determines you’ve reached MMI.

Consult With Rubens Kress & Mulholland

If you’re still a little fuzzy on the answer to “how long does workman’s comp last?”, you can consult with the experienced attorneys at Rubens Kress & Mulholland for professional advice and representation regarding your case. Contact us online to schedule an appointment today, or call us toll-free at 866-890-9640!

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