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NEW LAW ALERT: Additional Benefits under the Public Employee Disability Act due to COVID-19

Written by Brent Eames

August 7, 2020

Governor J.B. Pritzker has signed into law an expansion of the benefits afforded to injured first responders and correctional officers under the Public Employee Disability Act (PEDA). As of today, section (b-5) of PEDA has been amended so that any eligible employee injured after March 9, 2020 who has directly or indirectly had their recovery hindered as a result of COVID-19 is eligible for an extension of a maximum of 60 days. This allows eligible employees to continue to be paid by their employer on the same basis as they were paid prior to their injury beyond the statutory maximum of 365 days. Before the extension is granted, the employer may require proof of the injury that has hindered their physical recovery. The sections thereafter remain the same.

PEDA is an Illinois law which grants financial protection for law enforcement, paramedics, and firefighters who suffer injuries in the line of duty. Under section (a), eligibility is provided to any full/part-time state correctional officer, employee of the Department of Corrections, Prisoner Review Board, and Department of Human Service, as well as law enforcement, firefighters and paramedics.

Under section (b), any eligible employee that suffers an injury in the line of duty shall still continue to be paid by their employer under the same basis prior to their injury. The payments shall be made to the eligible employee with no deductions of sick leave credits or service credits, during the time they are unable to perform their duties. However, it may not exceed longer than one year except under circumstances provided in subsection (b-5).

Do you have questions about PEDA or your work-related injury? We are here to help. 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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