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Separate Injuries Allow Separate Workers' Compensation BenefitsAn Illinois appellate court recently overturned a trial court’s ruling on whether a claimant could receive two forms of workers’ compensation benefits from separate injuries that were consolidated as one claim. There are several types of benefits that the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission can award, including:

The benefits that a worker receives depends on the severity of his or her injury and how it affects his or her ability to continue to work or find other employment.

Recent Case

In Pisano v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, a hoist engineer for the city of Chicago injured his wrist, elbow, and shoulders in three separate incidents from 2005 to 2010. An arbitrator awarded the man Permanent Partial Disability for his elbow and wrist injury in the first incident and wage-differential benefits for his wrist injury in the second incident. The arbitrator determined that the third incident was related to the first two and did not require additional benefits. The arbitrator denied the claimant’s request for Permanent Total Disability because he is physically capable of obtaining other employment if he goes through vocational training. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission approved the ruling, with some changes to the wage-differential rate.

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Wage Differential Benefits Can Make Up for Lost CareerSuffering a permanent disability as the result of a workplace injury can be the end of your career, but it does not have to be the end of your life as a worker. There are other careers that may be able to accommodate your physical limitations better than your previous career. However, you may be unable to find a new job that pays you as well as your previous career. You worked your way up to a higher level position in your previous career, while you are starting at the bottom of your new career. You can compensate for this loss of income by requesting wage differential benefits during your workers’ compensation case.

How It Works

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act allows for wage differential benefits in Permanent Partial Disability cases where the injured party is incapable of continuing the same job but is able to find new work. According to the law:

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