The Basics of Workers' Compensation in Illinois
Workers' compensation in Illinois is overseen by the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission. Illinois workers' compensation laws allow employees who are injured in the course of their jobs to seek benefits from their employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier.
If you believe you have a workers' compensation claim, you should try to gain a basic understanding of laws dealing with workers' compensation in Illinois. In addition, you may want to consult with one or more Illinois workers' comp attorneys to get an assessment of your claim, especially if you anticipate that your employer will deny you workers' compensation benefits.
Benefits of Workers' Compensation in Illinois
When you are injured during the course of your job, workers' compensation will pay out benefits if your claim is accepted by your employer's insurance carrier. These benefits can range from compensation for medical bills to disability pay.
The money you receive for disability for workers' compensation in Illinois will vary depending on the severity of your disability. For example, a worker who is permanently and totally disabled will never be able to return to work and thus will receive more compensation than a worker who is only temporarily disabled.
The following is a list of disability classifications and their payouts under Illinois workers' compensation laws:
- Serious and permanent disfigurement of the hand, head, face, neck, arm, leg below the knee or chest: Up to two-thirds of the employee's weekly wages for up to 150 weeks
- Permanent partial disability: 60 percent of the employee's average weekly wage
- Temporary total disability: Two-thirds of the employee's average weekly wage
- Other claims: Usually two-thirds of the employee's average weekly wage
For temporary total disability, there is a three-day waiting period before a claimant is able to receive benefits. If disability lasts for 14 days or more, then the employee is eligible for retroactive compensation, meaning that he or she can seek compensation for the time between when the injury occurred and when he or she started to receive benefits.
Filing an Illinois Workers' Compensation Claim
If you have been injured in a workplace accident, then you should report the injury to your employer as soon as possible. Workers' compensation in Illinois provides employees with up to 45 days to report an injury. Waiting more than 45 days to report an injury may result in the employee's losing any right to claim workers' compensation benefits.
Under the law, you cannot be fired or harassed for filing a workers' comp claim. However, an employer may choose to deny your workers' compensation claim. If this happens, you may have to appeal to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission.
The Commission has the power to order the employer to pay out benefits. An employee usually has up to three years after the injury occurs to file a claim with the Commission. This time limit is different in certain cases. For example, in claims involving asbestos injuries, employees can file a case with the Commission up to 25 years after the last exposure.
You should consider hiring an attorney if your employer denies your claim. An Illinois workers' compensation lawyer can help represent you before the Commission and help ensure you follow proper procedure.
Resources for Workers' Compensation in Illinois
If you have general questions about Illinois workers' compensation, then you can contact the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission.
If you have questions about workplace safety, then you can contact your local Illinois OSHA office. OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is the governmental organization in charge of overseeing workplace health and safety standards.
Finally, if you have further questions about your specific case, then you should reach out to an Illinois workers' compensation lawyer in your area.