Section 8(d)(1) of the Illinois Workers Compensation Act provides
"If, after the accidental injury has been sustained, the employee as a result thereof becomes partially incapacitated from pursuing his usual and customary line of employment, he shall, except in cases compensated under the specific schedule set forth in paragraph (e) of this Section, receive compensation for the duration of his disability, subject to the limitations as to maximum amounts fixed in paragraph (b) of this Section, equal to 66-2/3% of the difference between the average amount which he would be able to earn in the full performance of his duties in the occupation in which he was engaged at the time of the accident and the average amount which he is earning or is able to earn in some suitable employment or business after the accident. For accidental injuries that occur on or after September 1, 2011, an award for wage differential under this subsection shall be effective only until the employee reaches the age of 67 or 5 years from the date the award."
This means that if your on the job injury is serious enough and your doctors restrictions prevent you from returning to your pre-injury employment, you may be entitled to a wage differential settlement or trial award under Section 8(d)(1) of the Illinois Workers Compensation Act payable at 2/3 of the difference between what you would be earning while working in your full duties at your former employer as of the date of settlement or trial and what suitable employment either the insurance company has found for you or you have found on your own as of the date of settlement or trial. If the injury occurred after 9/1/11 the wage differential calculation is capped at the age of 67 years or 5 years after the wage differential award becomes final, whichever is later. This new amendment will reduce the value of wage differential claims and may result in a higher settlement or trial award if Section 8(e) or 8(d)(2) is utilized.
In order to qualify for a wage differential award pursuant to section 8(d)(1) of the act, a claimant must prove: (1) partial incapacity which prevents pursuit of his usual and customary line of employment and (2) impairment of earnings. If your wage differential injury is after 2/1/2006, the maximum amount of your 2/3 difference may be 100% of the Illinois state wide average weekly wage.
A wage differential injury is a serious case that requires serious representation. You need confidence your attorney has both the knowledge and experience in handling a case of this magnitude. Leonard Law Group has represented hundreds of wage differential clients for the past fifteen years before the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission. Our wage differential settlements and trial awards are second to none in the city of Chicago. We pride ourselves in representing wage differential clients and obtaining maximum compensation. Please contact Leonard Law Group so we may discuss your wage differential case. If you have already secured legal representation Leonard Law Group offers free second opinion case evaluations.