NFL

How long should injured pro athletes get workers comp?

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) Chicago sports franchises and national players' advocates are squaring off over whether injured professional athletes should be allowed to earn certain worker compensation benefits like other workers.

Current law allows Illinois residents to claim benefits that help make up the difference between what they would have earned before a career-ending injury and what they can make afterward, up to age 67.

Lawmakers are considering a proposal that would cut off former athletes at age 35 or five years after the injury.

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Sports teams argue that most athletes' careers don't extend past their mid-thirties. But the NFL Players Association says permanently injured athletes need the benefits to make it in life after the league.

Neither side will say how much money is at stake. The issue has become tied to efforts to resolve Illinois' state budget impasse.