Settlement and Valuation Guide

How Much Is My Illinois Workers' Compensation Claim Worth?

Our Settlement and Valuation Guide to permanent disability benefits can help you understand how much your Illinois workers’ compensation claim may be worth.

Select from the articles below based on type of injury and compare your case to the table of Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission decisions:

Types of Permanent Disability Benefits:

  • Scheduled Injury Benefits (Permanent Partial Disability)
    • Includes upper and lower extremities, eyes, hearing
    • Number of weeks set by law × percentage loss × weekly PPD rate
  • Person-as-a-Whole Benefits (Permanent Partial Disability)
    • Includes head, neck, back, trunk, body systems, and occupational diseases or “loss of trade” as an alternative to wage differential benefits
    • 500 weeks × percentage loss × weekly PPD rate
  • Wage Differential Benefits
    • Loss of earning capacity, access to usual and customary occupation
    • 2/3 of the difference in wages, weekly for period set by law
  • Permanent Total Disability
    • Unable to make some contribution to industry sufficient to justify payment of wages or, though not altogether incapacitated to work, is so handicapped that he will not be employed regularly in any well-known branch of the labor market
    • PTD rate, weekly for life
  • Disfigurement
    • 150 weeks × percentage loss × weekly PPD rate

Many factors go into the final valuation of every case and include:

  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Medical treatment, especially if surgery was required
  • Length of time treating before reaching maximum medical improvement
  • Continued symptoms and complaints after reaching maximum medical improvement
  • Need for future medical treatment
  • Permanent work restrictions (sedentary, light duty, etc.)

For work accidents occurring after September 1, 2011, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act provides that the Commission must base its determination of the level of permanent partial disability on the following five factors:

  • the permanent partial disability impairment report (AMA impairment rating)
    • including objective measures like loss of range of motion, loss of strength, measured atrophy of tissue mass
    • most Commission decisions award higher PPD awards than the AMA impairment ratings (expressed as percentage losses)
  • the occupation of the injured employee
  • the age of the employee at the time of the injury
  • the employee’s future earning capacity
  • evidence of disability corroborated by the treating medical records.

820 ILCS 305/8.1b Illinois General Assembly | IWCC PDF.

Section 8.1b further provides that “[n]o single enumerated factor shall be the sole determinant of disability. In determining the level of disability, the relevance and weight of any factors used in addition to the level of impairment as reported by the physician must be explained in a written order.” 820 ILCS 305/8.1b Illinois General Assembly | IWCC PDF.

As noted by the Illinois Appellate Court, the language of section 8.1b “indicates that not all factors must be used in assessing permanent partial disability” and that “the Commission remains free to evaluate other relevant considerations.”

We encourage every injured worker to educate themselves about the Illinois workers’ compensation system and to consult with an Illinois attorney.

This article does not provide legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney directly.