Ridge & Downes - Law Firm

This FAQ section is provided as a general guideline to the rights and responsibilities of an employee who has been injured on the job. It does not, and cannot, contain all of the benefits and obligations pertaining to each specific case. Furthermore, it does not set forth the statute of limitations, nor the time limitations, of what you must do for proceeding with a workers ’ compensation claim. Each workers’ compensation case is unique and the law is frequently modified by the legislature and the courts.

This FAQ section is not intended as a replacement for the advice of an experienced attorney. In fact, if you have suffered an injury that is work related, you should consult an attorney knowledgeable on the law in your State for proper advice regarding the same.

What is the Public Employees Disability Act?

PEDA was enacted to provide for a continuation of full pay for law enforcement officers, correctional officers, and firefighters who suffer a disabling injury in the line of duty. Under this statute, up to a year of full pay is given to public safety personnel injured in the line of duty. If the injured officer or firefighter continues to remain disabled from performing their duties after this year expires, they are then entitled to receive Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. TTD provides for two-thirds of your average weekly earnings, but it is tax free.

State correctional officers, other employees of the Department of Corrections, Employees of the Prisoner Review Board, and employees of the Department of Human Services working within a penal institution or a State mental health or developmental disabilities facility operated by the Department of Human Services are eligible for PEDA if they are full or part-time. However, law enforcement officers and firefighters must be employed full-time by the State of Illinois, any unit of local government, any State-supported college or university, or any other public entity granted the power to employ persons for such purposes.

Employees of the State of Illinois who become permanently unable to perform their duties due to an injury received as a willful act of violence by another employee of the State of Illinois are also eligible for benefits pursuant to this Act.

It is important to note that an officer or firefighter could be incapacitated for a period of time, return to work, and then be incapacitated for a subsequent period of time. Under PEDA, these personnel are entitled to receive 52 weeks of full pay, excluding the dates they return to light or full duty. Many municipalities have interpreted PEDA to require only payment for one calendar year from the date of injuries. This penalizes personnel who make a good-faith attempt to return to work. The Appellate Court has clarified that the year limitation is on the time an employee is unable to perform their duties, not on the calendar period following an injury.


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