Temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits are available to Illinois injured workers when they are working light duty and earning less than they would be earning in the full capacity of the job. 820 ILCS 305/8(a) IWCC PDF.
TPD benefits are available while the injured worker is still actively treating and has not reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). An injured worker may be earning less because their doctor has restricted them to part-time hours or because their employer can only accommodate their restrictions with a lower paying position, for example.
TPD benefits are equal to 2/3 of the difference between the average amount the injured worker was earning pre-injury and their current earnings. 820 ILCS 305/8(a) (“Temporary partial disability benefits shall be equal to two-thirds of the difference between the average amount that the employee would be able to earn in the full performance of his or her duties in the occupation in which he or she was engaged at the time of accident and the gross amount which he or she is earning in the modified job provided to the employee by the employer or in any other job that the employee is working.”) IWCC PDF.
Note that for injuries occurring before June 28, 2011, TPD benefits are equal to to 2/3 of the difference between between pre-injury average earnings and the net amount of light-duty earnings.
It is also important to note that the language used in the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act for calculating TPD benefits – “the average amount that the employee would be able to earn in the full performance of his or her duties in the occupation in which he or she was engaged at the time of the accident” – is not synonymous with the Act’s definition of “average weekly wage.” 820 ILCS 305/8(a); 820 ILCS 305/10 IWCC PDF.
Average weekly wage is generally calculated by averaging the injured worker’s earnings in the 52 weeks before the accident. Accordingly, for a worker who received a raise in the year before suffering an accident, their average weekly wage is lower than what they would be able to currently earn in the full performance of their duties.