Workers Compensation and Unemployment Benefits

January 1, 2023


Brent Eames

If you are injured as a result of a work-related injury, and you are unable to work, you should be entitled to Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD). These TTD benefits are designed to compensate injured workers for lost wages if they are temporarily unable to return to work after a work-related accident or exposure. If you were injured on the job and your doctor’s restrictions prevent you from working, or your employer is unable to accommodate your light-duty restrictions, chances are good that you qualify for TTD benefits. However, of course, employers do not always follow the law and do not always do what they are supposed to when it comes to prompt payment of TTD benefits. In these situations, a very common question we get from potential clients relates to entitlement to potential entitlement to unemployment benefits when an employer is failing to pay TTD. Keep reading to learn what one of Chicago’s best workers’ compensation lawyers, Brent Eames, has to say about these claims.

Unlike workers’ compensation benefits, a worker is not required to suffer an injury or illness to be eligible for unemployment benefits. According to the Illinois Department of Employment Security, in order to be eligible for unemployment you must either be entirely out of work or be working less than full-time because full time work is not available. So, if you are not completely restricted from work due to your injury, but your employer has laid you off or refused to accommodate your light duty restriction, then there is a scenario where you could be found eligible simultaneously for work comp benefits and unemployment benefits. However, if you are completely restricted from working, then you should not be found eligible for unemployment benefits. The Department of Employment Security is clear that you must be able and available to work to be eligible for unemployment. So, benefits are not paid for any period in which you are unable to work because of illness or disability.

Perhaps most importantly, if you receive unemployment benefits, but are ultimately win your workers’ compensation claim for all owed temporary total disability benefits, the law does not allow you to keep the double recovery of benefits. The workers’ compensation carrier would not be entitled to an offset or credit for unemployment benefits. Rather, the Illinois Department of Employment Security would be reimbursed for any unemployment benefits received to avoid an unjust double recovery for the injured worker.

When multiple laws overlap, it can create confusion and legal obstacles. Have you been injured at work and want to discuss your rights and legal options? You owe it to yourself to contact an experienced work comp attorney to navigate this process. Please contact our experienced attorneys who have been rated as among the best work comp attorneys in Chicago to discuss your rights.  If you have been injured, you should immediately contact Brent Eames for a free consultation to discuss your options.

The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute or establish an attorney-client relationship, nor constitute legal advice. If you wish to discuss any further aspect of the material contained herein, please contact an attorney at Eames Law Group, Ltd. 

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