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Workers’ Compensation Benefits — How Long Do You Need to be Out of Work?

Question:  How long must I be out of work to begin collecting workers’ compensation? Answer:  In Illinois, you must be out of work for at least three days as a result of an injury in order to begin collecting your benefits. However, if you are out of work for two weeks, your benefits become retroactive, and you are paid for the entire time you were off, including the original three days. Additional rules apply depending on whether you are temporarily or permanently disabled. For more information, consult with a lawyer who is experienced in workers’ compensation matters.     For more information about Illinois law, visit  If you have a legal question, send it to Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit