How Long Can I Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Thursday, September 29, 2022

How Long Can I Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

If you have suffered from a work injury, you’re most likely eager to know how much and how long the workers’ compensation benefits will pay. There are several factors that determine how much you receive and for how long, including the severity of injuries, whether a case is open or closed, and the amount of lost income as a result of the injuries. Workers’ compensation attorneys can help victims determine the value of their injuries and reach a fair settlement.

Types of Benefits

How long you receive workers’ compensation benefits is based on the type of benefits you’re receiving. These benefits fall under four main classifications and cover your needs based on your medical care, income, disability, and vocational requirements.

Therefore, workers’ compensation does not solely cover your medical costs and wages during recovery. Benefits may also cover the time allocated for disability compensation or the time needed to learn new job skills.

Medical Benefits

It is the responsibility of workers’ compensation insurance carriers to pay for the medical costs related to a workplace accident. These extensive benefits include medical visits, hospital stays, physical therapy, prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, rehabilitation, and surgery.

Medical benefits are paid until a physician certifies that a patient has recovered from their injury, or reached their maximum level of recovery for the condition. Therefore, benefits stop after it is shown you have healed or can resume working.

Wage Replacement Benefits

The purpose of partial or total wage replacement benefits is to give injured workers who are unable to work access to an income during the healing process. The following types of benefits give you details on the amount of reimbursements and the length of payouts.

Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)

TPD benefits cover injured employees who can return to a lighter work schedule part-time. Therefore, the money covers two-thirds of the difference between your prior earnings and what you’d earn in your current part-time job. Benefits are ongoing until you can return your regular work assignment.

Temporary Total Disability (TTD)

If you cannot work at all and are in recovery, TTD will last until you receive maximum medical improvement (MMI). This can be determined through a functional capacity evaluation (FCE).

The amount you receive will equal two-thirds of your regular weekly income. If your recuperation period is less than 14 work days, the first three days are not covered.

Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)

PPD benefits are calculated in several ways, all of which determine how long you’ll receive benefits. Therefore, they may be figured as follows:

  • You’ll receive two-thirds of your lost wages for five years or until you reach your 67th birthday, whichever is longer.
  • If your injury leads to disfigurement, you’ll receive 60% of your average weekly wage (AWW) for up to 162 weeks – depending on its severity.
  • If you have a scheduled injury, such as vision loss or amputation, you’ll receive 60% of your average weekly wage (AWW) for the weeks assigned to the injury.
  • For a non-scheduled injury, you’ll receive 60% of your AWW, based on a disability rating that your physician assigns. You may be eligible for payouts for up to 500 weeks.

You may receive benefits weekly, or you may also opt for a lump sum amount.

Permanent Total Disability (PTD)

If you’re unable to return to work because of your injury, or you lose any combination of two hands, feet, arms, eyes, or legs, you’re entitled to receive permanent total disability (PTD) compensation.

This compensation is paid at two-thirds of your AWW and lasts for the rest of your life. You can either receive the compensation weekly or receive a lump sum settlement.

4. Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits

If you’re injured and cannot return to your old position, workers’ compensation in Illinois will pay for vocational services to help you restore your earning capacity.

This may involve career counseling, résumé help, and job search assistance. In some cases, you may receive benefits to learn a new skill.

The duration of these benefits will depend on how fast you can acquire the job related to your learning and your employment objectives.

Open Claims

When a workers’ compensation claim is open, benefits largely depend on an injury victim’s ability to work again. If you are unable to work as a result of your injuries, you are most likely eligible for time loss compensation benefits, with the amount depending on your income at the time of injury. Time loss benefits are normally paid around twice per month, although that time period may change depending on state rules. Benefits will probably be less than what you made while working. Workers’ compensation lawyers can help ensure that claimants receive the maximum time loss benefits available.

While not available in all states, “loss of earning power” benefits help workers that are capable of working temporarily—in lower-paying positions—after suffering workplace injuries. Employers will pay some difference between what the worker was making before the injury and what they receive following the injury.

Medical bills are also covered in open workers’ compensation claims as they are incurred, although they will not affect the amount paid in time loss benefits or “loss of earning power.”

Closed Claims

Closed claims are required to meet a specific set of circumstances in order for victims to receive continuous workers’ compensation payments. The three situations are as follows: claimants who are declared permanently and totally disabled with a given pension, claimants who are declared partially permanently disabled with entitlement to weekly permanent disability payments, or victims who have entered into a structured settlement.

Outside those three circumstances, individuals with closed claims will not likely receive any weekly or monthly compensation.

If you believe you have a workers’ compensation case and would like to seek compensation for injuries, workers’ comp attorneys will be able to help determine how much you can recover and on what basis.

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Justia Profile: Steve Malman
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

What’s your case worth? Submit for a free case review

Related Blog Posts

view all news