Illinois Workers' Compensation
The Illinois Workers' Compensation Act was enacted to provide lost wage compensation and medical benefits to Illinois workers who have a work injury while working in Illinois. The Illinois Workers' Compensation Act also provides benefits to anyone who was hired in Illinois but was injured in another state or anyone working for a business whose primary place of business is in the state of Illinois.
Workman's compensation is paid for work injuries which occur while the employee is performing work duties. Illinois workers may forfeit their right to workers' compensation if they are intoxicated when they were injured, engaged in horseplay, intentionally trying to hurt themselves or acting recklessly. Common work injuries which may be covered under Illinois workers' comp laws can include the following:
- Neck injuries
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Spinal cord injuries
- Injuries from inhaling toxic chemicals
- Strokes on the job
- Back injuries
- Puncture wounds
- Closed head injuries
- Heart attacks on the job
- Carpal Tunnel
Workman's compensation is considered a compromise between the worker and the employer. The worker forfeits their right to sue their employer for a work injury and instead accepts workman's compensation. The worker benefits from receiving immediate medical care and potential wage loss compensation for their work injury and avoids a lengthy legal battle.
Hiring an Illinois Workman's Comp Lawyer
Illinois work injuries may be severe and permanently debilitating. Illinois workers can process their workman's compensation claim without the assistance of an Illinois workman's comp lawyer, and Illinois employees with work injuries that will heal in a few days probably do not need a workman's comp attorney, but if your work injury is permanent, if you have been denied workman's comp benefits or if you have questions, an Illinois workers' comp lawyer can help.
Unfortunately, due to the complexity of Illinois workers' comp law there is no substitute for qualified workers' compensation legal assistance. Not having the Idaho workers' comp lawyer can prove financially devastating for injured workers.
Illinois Worker's Compensation Benefits
The Illinois State Department of Labor administers work injury compensation and provides a variety of benefits to employees who file an Idaho worker comp claim. Benefits include medical benefits, and may under certain conditions, also include wage loss compensation. The most common types of Illinois workman's compensation benefits include:
- Medical benefits - Medical benefits are paid to Illinois workers who suffer a work injury and require medical care. Workman's comp medical benefits may include: doctor's visits, dental coverage, hospitalizations, medical supplies, x-rays and prescribed medication. Medical care is paid at 100% and includes all "necessary and reasonable" care (subject to maximums outlined in the Illinois fee schedule). Unnecessary, unproven or experimental procedures are not covered by workman's comp. The employee may also choose up to 2 physicians. Emergency medical care or visits to an ER are not considered a "physician choice", however, subsequent follow-up visits may be considered a "choice". Talk to your employer prior to making a physician decision.
- Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD) - Temporary total disability benefits are paid if a worker is unable to return to work for more than 3 days. The employee will not be compensated for the first 3 days of missed work unless they miss 10 or more days. Temporary total disability benefits are paid at 66 2/3% of the employee's average weekly wage subject to the state's maximum and minimum limits. Calculating an employee's average weekly wage may be a point of contention. Contact your workman's comp lawyer from Illinois if you have questions.
Employees must provide evidence and proper documentation from their physician to receive temporary permanent disability benefits.
- Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (TPD) - Temporary partial disability benefits may be provided if an employee is able to return to light duty work but the amount of their pay is reduced. TPD is paid to the employee to offset their temporary reduction in wages. Releases to part-time or light duty work are issued by the employee's physician.
TPD benefits are paid until the employee reaches their maximum medical improvement level. If the employee is still experiencing disabilities or restrictions after they have reached their medical plateau then they can receive permanent disability payments based on the nature and severity of their work injury.
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD) - Permanent partial disability benefits may be paid to workers who are able to return to work but have residual permanent limitations. Illinois workman's comp law provides guidelines for assessing the severity of the impairment and the payment the employee is entitled to receive. Some work injuries are not compensated based on a "schedule" but are calculated based on a whole person loss.
- Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTD) - Permanent total disability benefits are paid to workers who are injured and unable to return to any type of employment. Permanent total disability payments are paid based on 66 2/4% of the worker's average weekly wages.
Determination for permanent total disability benefits is evaluated based on a worker's age, job experience, work restrictions, education level, training and the availability of jobs in the worker's job market.
- Death Benefits - Death benefits may be available to the surviving dependents of deceased workers. If a worker is killed from a work injury or an occupational disease the dependent may receive 66 2/3% of the employee's average weekly wages. Maximum death benefits are limited by Illinois worker comp laws. Burial expenses may also be paid up to $8,000.
- Vocational Rehabilitation - Vocational rehabilitation may be available to employees who are unable to work their previous job due to their work injuries. Workers who have missed 120 days of work may, under the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act, receive help finding new employment which can be performed given their current work restrictions.