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Exploring Permanency Calculations for Workplace Injuries

Last updated on May 31, 2024

Discovering the lasting impact of debilitating workplace injuries involves understanding four distinct methods of compensation as explained below. To discuss your workers’ compensation case after suffering a permanent on-the-job injury, contact Marker & Crannell. Based in Naperville and Aurora, we represent injured workers throughout the Chicago metro area and the state of Illinois.

Let our lawyers hear about your injuries as described below. We are here for you to help ensure that you receive all compensation and insurance benefits that you are eligible after suffering a permanent injury at work.

Schedule Injuries

Utilizing the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Statute, the most prevalent approach involves a schedule of body parts. Lawyers, arbitrators and judges refer to this schedule to assess the value of an injured worker’s injuries.

  • Calculations involve multiplying 60% of the employee’s average weekly wage (AWW) by the weeks on the schedule for the affected body part. This result is then multiplied by a percentage reflecting the severity or loss of use.
  • For instance, a complete amputation of a thumb equates to 76 weeks of 60% of the injured worker’s AWW.

The schedule details weeks assigned to various body parts, with different values for specific injuries:

Body Part Weeks
Thumb 76
First (index) finger 43
Second (middle) finger 38
Third (ring) finger 27
Fourth (little) finger 22
Great toe 38
All other toes 13
Hand 205
Arm 253
Foot 167
Leg 215
Eye 162
Testicle (1) 54
Testicle (2) 162
Person as a whole (all other) 500

Nonschedule Injuries (Affecting The Person As A Whole)

If an injury isn’t listed on the schedule but imposes limitations, the employee may be entitled to a percentage of 500 weeks of benefits based on the loss of the person as a whole.

This percentage is then multiplied by 60% of the employee’s AWW, commonly applicable to neck, back, and spinal injuries.

Understanding Illinois Wage Differential

In cases where injuries prevent a return to the previous job, a wage differential claim may be pursued. This claim allows the injured person to receive two-thirds of the difference between their average weekly wage before and after the injury.

Recovery under wage differential or permanency is exclusive, and an employee shall be paid the wage differential amount for five years or until reaching the age of 67.

Compensation And Settlements After A Permanent Work-Related Injury

Permanent disfigurement to specific body parts entitles the employee to a maximum of 162 weeks of benefits at the Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) rate. This involves multiplying the weeks by 60% of the employee’s AWW.

When it comes to settlements, you can only ever get 100% of a body part in your lifetime. If you settle your case and get 20% of the hand for example, you have 80% left to get for future work injuries in your lifetime. 20% of the hand would be 205 x .2 = 41 weeks. The Act requires a formula for settlement whereby we compute the number of weeks x 60% of the employee’s average weekly wage. Thus, settlement is a set formula based upon the amount of money an employee makes weekly and the percentage of the body part. There is a maximum cap on this settlement rate, however that applies once an employee starts to earn over approximately $1,650 a week. This rate changes with inflation each year and is posted on the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) website.

There are also maximum and minimum caps on what you can get for your payments while off work – TTD (temporary total disability). Those rates also change year to year and are posted on the IWCC website. As of 2024, the minimum rate for payment of your off work benefits is $373.33 unless you are a part-time worker making less than this amount weekly, in which case your weekly rate would be the TTD rate the insurance carrier would also have to pay you while you are off work.

If you suspect your workplace injuries might be permanent, it is important to seek legal advice promptly.

Discuss Your Permanent Injuries Occurring On The Job

The attorneys at Marker & Crannell in Naperville and Aurora, with over 35 years of combined experience, can provide a free consultation to explore your options. Contact them at 630-912-6009 or through email.