Unless the employer/employee agreement specifies otherwise, a workers' compensation settlement approved by the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission bars any future financial relief to the injured worker for the incident that caused the claim. Because of this, it is essential that you or your lawyer calculate your settlement accurately. Illinois provides an arbitrator to look over the settlement contract and approve or disapprove the settlement amount. The arbitrator ensures both employer and employee receive fair treatment in a settlement, and is not an advocate for the employee.
Collect the documents you need to prove the amount of your disability. These include medical records and your accident report. Wait until you reach your maximum level of improvement before entering settlement negotiations.
Calculate your average weekly wage. Add all of your earnings for the previous year and divide the answer by 52. If you worked less than a full year, divide your earnings by the number of worked weeks.
Open the Illinois Permanent Partial Disability Benefits Schedule of Body Parts. Illinois determines the value of your disability based on its nature. The chart provides the number of weeks in which you can receive payments if you do not settle your case.
Locate your disability on the chart. For example, if your accident caused you to lose your thumb and occurred after February 1, 2006, you can receive compensation for 76 weeks.
Multiply your average weekly wage by 0.667. This is your maximum weekly benefit if you do not settle. For example, if your average weekly wage is $500, your maximum weekly benefit is $335.50.
Multiply your weekly benefit by the number of allowed weeks in the chart to calculate your settlement. For example, if your maximum weekly benefit is $335.50 and you lost your thumb -- 76 allowed weeks -- your settlement calculates to $25,346.
If you work more than one job and can no longer work your second job, you may qualify to include the wages from it in your average weekly wage.
Weekly benefit amounts are subject to maximum and minimum amounts set by the state. Consult an attorney if you have any questions regarding your settlement.
Unless you regularly work overtime, Illinois may not allow you to use overtime earnings when calculating your average weekly wage.