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Public Employees Benefits Extended

Updated: Nov 30, 2020

On May 23, 2020, Senate Bill 0471 passed out of the Illinois General Assembly. The Bill was sent to Governor Pritzker on June 8, 2020, and he is expected to sign the Bill into law shortly.

Senate Bill 0471 amends the Public Employee Disability Act by extending the one-year time period during which an eligible employee receives full pay following a work-related injury by 60 days. This extension is available “when circumstances, directly or indirectly attributable to COVID-19, occurring on or after March 9, 2020 but before December 31, 2020, would hinder the recovery for an eligible employee.”

Generally, this means that if COVID-19 restrictions prevent or delays an eligible employee from receiving the treatment that would allow them to recover from their work-related injury, the period during which they can receive PEDA benefits can be extended up to 60 days. This legislation specifically notes that the employing public entity may require proof of the circumstances hindering an eligible employee’s physical recovery before granting the extension.

Eligible employees are any part-time or full-time State correctional officer, full or part-time employee of the Department of Corrections, Prisoner Review Board or Department of Human Services working within a penal institution or a State mental health or developmental disabilities facility, any full time law enforcement officer or full-time fire fighter, including a full-time paramedic or a firefighter who performs paramedic duties, who is employed by the State of Illinois, any unit of local government (including home rule unit), any State supported college or university, or any public entity granted the power to employ persons for such purposes.

If the injured person is an employee of the Department of Corrections or the Prison Review Board working in a penal institution or an employee of the Department of Human Services working within a departmental mental health or developmental disabilities facility the injury must be the direct or indirect result of violence by inmates or residents of the metal health or developmental disability facility.

If you have questions regarding this new legislation, please call Ridge & Downes at 1-800-572-1136 and speak with one of our attorneys.

To see how your legislator voted, please click here.

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