Public Employee Disability Act
What is the Public Employee Disability Act (PEDA)?
In Illinois, if you sustain a work-related injury, you are entitled to two-thirds (2/3) of your pay while you are off work as a result of the work injury. This benefit is calculated in accordance with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act and is called temporary total disability benefits. However, there are certain employees in Illinois who are entitled to more than the two-thirds benefit rate under the Workers’ Compensation Act.
Pursuant to the Public Employee Disability Act (5 ILCS 345/1), there are certain employees who are entitled to 100% of their pay if they sustain an injury on the job. This is typically referred to as PEDA, not to be confused with PETA.
Who is entitled to PEDA benefits?
- Any full-time law enforcement officer;
- Any full-time firefighter;
- Corrections officers;
- Any full or part-time employee of the Department of Human Services; and
- Any full or part-time employee in state-operated mental health facilities.
If the employee qualifies for benefits under PEDA, the employer cannot deduct sick leave credits, vacation days, or compensatory time for overtime accumulations. Additionally, the employee continues to accrue service credits in a public employee pension fund, if applicable. Unfortunately, Chicago police officers and firefighters are specifically excluded from receiving PEDA benefits.
A qualifying employee is entitled to receive 100% of their pay for up to one year. The employee must submit to an examination of their employer’s request if required. Additionally, the employee must refrain from any type of work during the period of disability, including volunteer work, to be eligible for ongoing benefits under PEDA.
Therefore, if you sustained an injury while working within one of the aforementioned categories, you may be entitled to additional compensation under the Public Employee Disability Act. Please contact an attorney with Woodruff Johnson & Evans to find out more about your rights.