What are wage differential benefits?

After a work injury, you might be unable to do the same job you had been doing for years. This could be a temporary situation or it could be permanent. Some employers are able to accommodate your restrictions by finding you light duty work. You may have to take a different job, which results in less pay. In these situations, where your work injury results in a pay cut, workers’ compensation can make up for part of the difference. This is called wage differential benefits.

Some specific issues to be aware of with wage differential benefits are the length of time you are able to receive them, as well as how they are calculated. Wage differential benefits are 2/3 of the difference between your pre- and post-injury wages. Illinois law says you can collect wage differential checks until the age of 67 or for five years, whichever is longer. If your weekly wages are inconsistent or irregular, then you’ll want to make sure your wage differential is calculated properly and that you’re receiving all that you should. This is a simple request for most workers’ compensation attorneys who have a lot of experience.

A common pitfall is trusting your employer or their insurance adjuster over your own instincts. Sure, they may have more experience than you do, but it’s you who is injured. It’s your family who needs these checks and other benefits. The point is to take control of the situation, talk to an attorney if you need help and make sure you are getting everything you’re entitled to under workers’ compensation law, including wage differential benefits if you are earning less because of a work accident.

We are workers' compensation attorneys who help people with Illinois work injuries anywhere in IL via our statewide network of attorneys. Contact us and we will answer your questions or find the right lawyer for your situation.

By Michael Helfand

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