How do they calculate what my worker’s compensation benefits in Illinois? This makes no sense.

Under the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act, you are entitled to three types of benefits.  These are payments related to missed time from work, medical treatment expenses, and permanency.  That sounds straightforward but how do you calculate the specific numbers?  It all starts with the Average Weekly Wage (AWW).  This number is the key to calculating all your benefits under the Act.

The Average Weekly Wage is at its simplest just what it sounds like, the average of what you earn per week.  It is based on the fifty-two (52) weeks prior to your injury.  The very simplest way to describe this is that from the date of your injury you count the 52 weeks prior to that date and add up all that you were paid during this time and divide by 52. That is your AWW.  However, of course, nothing is ever that simple.   First, some payments that you receive from your employer are not included in your AWW.  These include overtime and bonuses.  Even this exclusion is not simple as there are facts that may allow your overtime hours to be included in your AWW at the straight time rate or sometimes something that is called a bonus is actually payment for time worked and then would be included.   As you can see, this calculation can be hard.

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