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Fire & Police Disability Benefit Claims

Black & Jones Attorneys at Law proudly support those who serve as emergency responders in the Greater Rockford and Northern Illinois areas. These heroes sacrifice themselves every day to help others and we are honored to be able to help them when they suffer from a disabling medical condition.

First responders are exposed to dangers that most employees in Illinois never have to face. Whether they are injured in a specific traumatic accident or suffer from a medical condition resulting from their daily job duties, they are entitled to benefits.

fire fighters in fire house

Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act = Your Advantage

If first responders—such as police officers, firefighters or paramedics—are injured while working, they are likely entitled to compensation under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. This includes benefits such as payment of medical treatment bills, temporary total disability benefits if they are off work per a doctor or on a restriction the employer cannot accommodate, and additional compensation for the injury after they reach maximum medical improvement. If you have been injured at work, learn more about the compensation you deserve from a reputable workers’ compensation attorney.

woman in white shirt and bluejeans on couch

PEDA = The Law Is on Your Side

Illinois law protects first responders by providing wage benefits when they are off work due to medical conditions resulting from work-related injuries. Police officers and firefighters of municipalities that are injured on the job are entitled to duty disability benefits that exceed what would be paid under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.

More about PEDA

Who Qualifies for PEDA Benefits?

All full-time law enforcement officers or full-time firefighters or paramedics who are employed by the State of Illinois, any unit of local government, or any state supported college or university. See the full list of who qualifies here.


Police officers, paramedics, firefighters or eligible employees who are taken off work due to a work injury should report the injury and status to their supervisor immediately. Contact your employer’s human resource department to notify them of your condition and ask that PEDA benefits be issued.

Notifying Your Supervisor

PEDA and workers’ compensation benefits are separate and distinct. While you should notify your supervisor of your injury and inability to work, to file a workers’ compensation claim before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, you must file an application for adjustment of claims. Discover more about filing a workers’ compensation case.

Length of Benefits

PEDA benefits are payable for up to a maximum of one year or 365 days. 
This excludes the dates you return to light or full duty.

Thinking of Working Elsewhere?

While on PEDA benefits, you may not be employed in any other manner with or without monetary compensation.

PEDA for Part-Time Employees

Part-time employees receive compensation calculated based on the percentage of time they were scheduled to work pursuant to their status as part-time employees.

firefighter in mask infront of fire engines

Line of Duty Disability Pensions: 65% of Salary Outside of Chicago

If a first responder becomes sick, gets into an accident or receives an injury due to an act of duty and is found to be disabled, they shall be entitled to a disability retirement pension equal to the greatest of:

1. 65% of the salary attached to their rank at the date of suspension or retirement or

2. The retirement pension that the employee would be eligible to receive if they retired

This benefit would cover disabilities resulting from catastrophic work-related injuries.

Disability Pension for Disabilities Incurred Not on Duty: 50% of Salary

If a first responder, who has been employed at least 7 creditable years, becomes disabled from any cause other than during the performance of an act of duty, the employee is entitled to a disability pension of 50% of the salary attached to the employee’s rank at the time of suspension or retirement. This benefit would cover disabilities resulting from personal or non-work-related conditions.

health insurance documents

Public Safety Employee Benefits Act (PSEBA)

The Public Safety Employee Benefits Act is an Illinois law that mandates employer-funded health insurance for first responders who are injured or killed in the line of duty. If you are awarded a line of duty disability pension, this law may entitle you and your family to health insurance.


Initial Consultation

The insurance companies aren’t thinking about your best interests. So, get in touch with us first. We’ll explain your options and ensure you’re taking all the right steps.


Notifying Your Employer

Most law professionals recommend you notify your employer immediately after you get injured—or whenever you realize a link between your condition and your work. This can be as simple as mentioning you have pain or need to see a doctor.


Filing Your Claim

Qualified police officers and firefighters must go through a formal application process with their pension board. From there, the board will conduct a hearing to determine your eligibility. Benefits may be payable under the Public Employee Disability Act (PEDA), Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, the Illinois Disability Pension Code and Public Safety Employee Benefits Act. The law can be confusing and the process complicated. Reach out to a knowledgeable firm dedicated to helping first responders like Black & Jones Attorneys at Law.

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