Twice a year, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission releases new minimum and maximum benefits rates, which are upper and lower limits on the amount an individual can receive if they are unable earn their regular wages because of a work injury.

For example, Temporary Total Disability (TTD) is what you can get if you are unable to work while you recover. You also can get TTD if your doctor has given you restrictions and your employer doesn’t have work for you that fits within those restrictions. TTD checks are equal to 2/3 of your average weekly wage. If you earn $600 a week, you would get $400 a week according to Illinois workers’ compensation law. The exact amount varies from person to person, unless the minimum or maximum rate applies to you.

For injuries on or after January 15, 1014, the maximum TTD rate is $1,336.91. The maximum rate is a cap on the amount you can get. If 2/3 of your average weekly wage is above that, you don’t get the full 2/3. Illinois also sets a minimum rate so you are guaranteed to get a certain amount. The current minimum is $220. If you have a spouse or children, the minimum increases for each person and can go up to $330. If you are below the minimum amount, you will get TTD based on what your actual weekly wages are.  If 2/3 is less than the minimum, then you get the minimum.  The exception is that no matter your wage, the minimum for permanent total disability or death applies as the lowest you can receive.

Here is a list of the updated rates as of January 15, 2014:

Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
Maximum = $1,336.91
Minimum = $220.00 (up to $330 if spouse and children)

Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
Maximum = $721.66
Minimum = $220.00

State Average Weekly Wage
= $1,002.68.

Permanent Total Disability (PTD)
Maximum = $1,336.91
Minimum =  $501.34

Mileage Rate = $0.56

The mileage rate is what they must pay you for travel to their doctors for something like an IME.  So if it’s a 100 mile round trip, they need to send you a check for $56 ahead of time.  If the insurance company doesn’t do this, you don’t have to attend the exam.

The minimum and maximum rates are set, but your individual rate might be different. It’s important to make sure your average weekly wage is correctly calculated and that you are getting all the benefits you’re entitled to under Illinois law. You don’t have to take your employer’s word for it, or the word of the insurance company. If you think your wages and benefits aren’t accurate, talk to an experienced attorney who knows wage calculations and is familiar with the ways in which insurance companies tend to underpay injured workers.

By Michael Helfand