As an attorney we can make a mistake and forget that most injured workers are dealing with the workers comp system for the first time. So things that we know and take for granted as basic might not be so. That’s our fault, not yours.

An example is that I will usually explain to a caller when workers comp benefits should kick and you’ll start receiving pay. But a recent caller flipped the script on me and asked when workers comp will stop paying.

Illinois is a great state for injured workers. Some states have time limits on how long you can receive work comp benefits. That’s not the case here. Theoretically benefits could continue for life. But in most cases that doesn’t happen.

In most cases, you get hurt and you get better and your doctor will discharge you from medical care. Other than getting a settlement, that’s when the insurance company will stop paying. In other cases it could be an IME that says you don’t need any more medical care or that you so, but it’s not work related. And in some cases it happens when they do surveillance on you and decide that you are lying to your doctor.

In some cases your medical care continues but they come up with a reason, often bogus, to stop paying your TTD benefits. And in many cases they just stop paying without any legal reason just to see what you will do. Unfortunately too many injured workers do nothing and the insurance company gets away with it.

The bottom line is that every case is different and when you will stop receiving work comp benefits isn’t the same timeline as when someone else will. Also, benefits can stop and then start again. This can happen due to a court order, a new medical opinion, an aggressive attorney who files the right trial motion or a whole host of other reasons.

And as stated, just because you are no longer receiving weekly benefits or medical care doesn’t mean that you aren’t owed a settlement at some point. And that settlement can and often does include back pay for TTD benefits and/or medical bills.

So while it’s a great question, my honest advice is that it’s not one that I would get too worked up over if I was injured on the job. I would focus on following the medical plan laid out by my doctor and trying to get better. The insurance company is going to always look for reasons to end your benefits. So be prepared, be honest and focus on your health. Those are the injured workers that tend to get the best results.

And as always, if you have any questions you can call us for free any time.