Do you have questions about how Illinois’ workers’ compensation system works? Whether you have been injured on the job in suburban Chicago and need help filing or appealing a claim, or you are just curious, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about workers’ comp.
What percentage of my wages does workers’ compensation pay?
If you are awarded workers’ compensation for your work-related injury, the amount of money you will get paid depends on whether you suffered a permanent total disability, permanent partial disability or temporary total disability. The maximum and minimum rates change every six months based on the Statewide Average Weekly Wage (SAWW).
For example, through Jan. 11, 2021, the maximum weekly benefit for a permanent total disability or certain permanent partial disabilities is $1,572.01; the minimum benefit is $589.51 per week. When the Illinois Department of Employment Security publishes the new SAWW in January, those figures will change. The maximum for a temporary total disability is the same. The minimum benefit is $266.67 or the worker’s average weekly wage, whichever is lower.
How long can my workers’ comp benefits last?
For injuries sustained after 2011 that have left you permanently disabled, you can receive benefits for five years or until you turn 67, whichever is later. For temporary total disabilities, you can receive workers’ comp until 1) your doctor releases you to go back to work, with or without restrictions; or 2) you reach Maximum Medical Improvement, meaning your condition has stabilized to the point that no major changes to your health can reasonably be expected in the future. Whether you return to work or not, temporary total disability benefits end at this point.
Can I see my own doctor?
Yes. Illinois law has the “Two Doctor Rule,” which lets you choose the first two doctors who examine you after a work injury. Bills from those doctors, as well as doctors those first two physicians refer you to, are covered by workers’ comp.
For more information about how workers’ comp really works in Illinois and whether you should pursue a claim, contact a workers’ compensation