If you've sustained an injury while on the job, you have a lot to worry about, from the details of your workers' compensation claim to the state of your health. The world of workers' compensation can be complex, and you might have a lot of questions regarding your coverage and what to expect. Fortunately, with a team of dedicated healthcare professionals on your side, you don't have to do it alone.
At , we’re proud to have a dedicated not only to treating work-related injuries, but also to helping every patient and Illinois business owner navigate the Illinois workers’ compensation system. We understand that the process can be confusing, and we’re here to answer any questions you may have along the way.
To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of the top ten questions we hear from our patients about Illinois workers' compensation:
1. What types of injuries are covered by workers’ compensation?
While every state varies, Illinois law as stated by the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission requires that (opens in a new tab) to employees who are injured on the job.
Workers' compensation coverage typically extends to injuries that occur suddenly and unexpectedly, such as a slip and fall, as well as repetitive motion injuries that develop over time. If you’re not sure whether your injury makes you eligible for workers comp coverage, please consult your employer.
2. How do I file a claim for workers' compensation benefits?
If you’ve been injured on the job, the first step is to notify your employer as soon as possible. Your employer should then provide you with the necessary paperwork to file a claim.
In many cases, your employer's workers' comp insurance company will handle claims on their behalf. Once you have the necessary paperwork, you can file your claim online or in person with the (opens in a new tab).
3. How long does it take for a workers’ compensation claim to be processed?
Once you’ve filed your claim, the workers' comp insurance company has up to 21 days to approve or deny your benefits. If your claim is approved, you should start receiving benefits within a few days. However, if your claim is denied, you have the right to file an appeal.
4. How much will I receive in workers’ compensation benefits?
According to Illinois law, the amount of money you receive in workers’ compensation benefits depends on a number of factors, including the severity of your injury, the type of benefits you’re entitled to, and whether you’re able to return to work. In general, workers’ compensation pays two-thirds of your average weekly wage, up to a maximum amount set by law.
5. What types of benefits am I entitled to?
There are four main types of workers’ compensation benefits:
- Medical benefits: Medical benefits cover the cost of necessary medical treatment, including doctor’s visits, hospital stays, surgeries, and prescription medications.
- Wage replacement benefits: Wage replacement benefits provide partial income replacement if you’re unable to work due to your injury.
- Death benefits: Death benefits are available to the surviving family members (spouse and dependent children) of a worker who dies as a result of a work-related injury.
- Vocational rehabilitation benefits: Vocational rehabilitation benefits can help you retrain for a new job if you’re unable to return to your previous occupation.
6. Who pays for workers’ compensation benefits?
In the state of Illinois, employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. In fact, employers who fail to obtain workers' compensation insurance are subject to heavy fines and penalties. This workers' comp insurance covers the cost of benefits for employees who are injured on the job.
7. How long will I receive workers’ compensation benefits?
The length of time you receive benefits depends on the severity of your injury and your ability to return to work. In general, medical benefits are available as long as you need them. Wage replacement benefits are available for up to 45 weeks. And vocational rehabilitation benefits are available for up to two years.
8. Do I have to see a doctor chosen by the workers’ compensation insurance company?
No. You have the right to choose your own doctor, as long as they’re certified to treat work-related injuries.
9. Can I be fired for filing workers’ compensation claims?
No. It’s against state law for an employer to fire or retaliate against an employee for filing a claim for benefits.
10. Do I need a lawyer to file a workers’ compensation claim?
You’re not required to have a lawyer to file a claim. However, an experienced attorney can help you navigate the claims process and ensure that you receive the full amount of benefits you’re entitled to.