1. Home
  2. blog
  3. business insurance

Workers Compensation in Illinois

Jason Metz

Illinois requires all businesses to have workers comp for employees, with only a few exceptions.

Workers compensation insurance typically pays a portion of lost salary and medical bills for an employee who's hurt while doing a job-related task. The types of work injuries that can be covered by workers comp might include broken bones, carpal tunnel and muscle injuries.

Illinois workers compensation law define many details of who must be covered, who can be exempt from coverage, and the limits of workers comp payments. Below are many of the specifics contained in the workers comp law in Illinois. The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission also has a page with helpful information for employers.

Who has to be covered by Illinois workers compensation?

Can any employees opt out of Illinois workers compensation with a waiver?

Yes - corporate officers and sole proprietors can.

Is self-insurance for workers comp allowed in Illinois?

Yes, for individual employers, groups of employers and political subdivisions. Political subdivisions in Illinois are typically the state or a city, county, special district, school district or public agency.

By self-insuring, a business assumes responsibility for paying their own workers comp claims. A self-insured company typically hires a claims service company to handle claims administration and other services.

Are there exclusions for:

Small employers? No.

Agricultural employers? Yes, if the employer employed less than 400 working days of labor per quarter during the preceding calendar year.

Domestic employers? Yes,if not employed more than 40 hours per week for thirteen-plus weeks during a calendar year.

Independent contractors? Yes.

Casual employees? No.

Volunteers? Yes.

Professional athletes? No.

Illinois workers comp medical benefits

Is there a Illinois workers comp fee schedule?


Fee schedules define payments for surgery, radiology, hospital services, chiropractic care, ambulance service, prescription drugs and other medical services for an injured worker.

Are there limits on medical treatment?

Yes, utilization review may limit treatment.

Who makes the initial choice of treating physician?

The employee.

Disability payments for workers compensation insurance in Illinois

Workers comp generally pays an employee a portion of their income if they can't work as a result of a job-related injury. Based upon both temporary and permanent disability, state laws outline the limits of the amounts and length of payment amounts.

How are temporary total disability (TTD) payments calculated?

66 2/3% of the employee's average weekly wage, subject to a minimum and maximum.

Weekly minimum: $220

Weekly maximum: $1,398.23

Maximum length of TDD benefits: For the duration of the temporary disability.

How are permanent total disability (PTD) payments calculated?

66 ⅔% of the employee's average weekly wage, subject to a minimum and maximum.

Weekly minimum: $524.34

Weekly maximum: $1,398.23

Are there cost of living increases for PTD payments? Yes, increases start in the July after the second July following the date the award was entered.

Maximum length of PTD benefits: No maximum.

How are permanent partial disability (PPD) payments calculated?

Multiply employee's average weekly wage times 60%, subject to minimum and maximum.

Weekly minimum: $220

Weekly maximum: $755.22

Fatality benefits under Illinois workers compensation law

Maximum burial benefit: $8,000

Dependency benefits, weekly minimum / maximum: $524.34 / $1,398.23

When do children's dependency benefits end? At age 18; age 25 if the child is a student.

Other injuries covered by Illinois workers compensation

Mental stress with no physical injury? Yes.

Cumulative trauma (such as injuries caused by repeated exposure or repetitive motion)? Yes.

Occupational hearing loss? Yes.

Disfigurement? Yes.

Source: Workers Compensation Research Institute, May 2016 report