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FAQ’S

 

I HAVE HAD AN ACCIDENT AT WORK, WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?

When does coverage begin?

Can my employer fire me for filing a claim?

Can an undocumented worker file a claim?

What injuries are generally covered?

What if my work accident has aggravated or furthered a pre-existing medical condition, can I still file a claim?

What if I have an accident while running an errand for my employer, can I file a claim?

 

WHAT IS THE FILING PROCEDURE?

To whom must I give notice?

Is there a time limit within which I can file my claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission?

I have lost time from work without any compensation, what do I do?

How long must I wait before I receive disability benefits?

 

WHAT BENEFITS AM I ENTITLED TO?

When do TTD benefits begin?

When am I entitled to PPD benefits?

What if I am unable to perform my customary duties?

What if I am unable to work at all?

 

HOW DO I INCREASE MY CHANCES OF SUCCESSFULLY WINNING MY CASE?

I HAVE HAD AN ACCIDENT AT WORK, WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?

Generally: The Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act is a no-fault system providing very specific benefits to anyone injured while in the course of employment.

Insurance: All employers in the State of Illinois are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance. Independent contractors are not covered by the Act, however, their employees are.   Back to top

When does coverage begin?

The moment you begin to work. Back to top

Can my employer fire me for filing a claim?

Illinois law prohibits an employer from harassing or discharging an employee who exercises his/her rights under the Act. Your employer could become liable for damages in a civil lawsuit for retaliatory discharge and wrongful termination.  Back to top

Can an undocumented worker file a claim?

Yes. The Act applies to all workers irrespective of their immigrant status. Back to top

What injuries are generally covered?

Specific injuries to the body (sprains, fracture, and amputations), heart attacks, repetitive trauma (carpal tunnel syndrome), hearing loss, disfigurement, including other related injuries. Back to top

What if my work accident has aggravated or furthered a pre-existing medical condition, can I still file a claim?

Yes. Providing a qualified physician agrees that your work activity has contributed or furthered your pre-existing condition. Back to top

What if I have an accident while running an errand for my employer, can I file a claim?

Yes. As long as you did not deviate from your responsibilities. Back to top

WHAT IS THE FILING PROCEDURE?

Notice: It is imperative that you notify your employer immediately as a delay of more than 45 days can result in the permanent loss of all benefits under the Act. If you know that your employer has a reputation of denying worker’s compensation benefits, file your claim at the Illinois Industrial Commission without delay in order to pursue to an emergency hearing.

Notice Requirements: The notice should contain your name, address, telephone and social security numbers, date, time, including a brief description of how the accident occurred.   Back to top

To whom must I give notice?

A supervisor, foreman, superintendent, human resources department, or owner. It is always a good idea to notify as many people as possible. Please note that notice to a co-employee will not satisfy this requirement.   Back to top

Is there a time limit within which I can file my claim with the Illinois Workers’ Commission?

Yes. Three (3) years from the date of injury, or two (2) years following the last payments of weekly disability benefits, whichever occurs later. Employer’s duties: Your employer must notify its worker’s compensation insurance carrier of your accident. The insurance carrier will then set up a claim and assign an adjustor to handle your case. Usually, a two (2) week turnaround occurs before you actually hear from an adjustor.   Back to top

I have lost time from work without any compensation, what do I do?

You must secure a medical note from your doctor verifying your temporary total disability due to a work accident. Forward this note to your employer requesting that they contact their insurance company. Keep a copy of all tendered documents for your records.  Back to top

How long must I wait before I receive disability benefits?

A delay in the payment of these benefits of 14 or more days creates a rebuttable presumption of an unreasonable delay . Penalties may be assessed against your employer.    Back to top

WHAT BENEFITS AM I ENTITLED TO?

Generally: You are entitled to three benefits: A. medical treatment including the ability to select two physicians of your choice, in addition to other medical health practitioners to whom the worker is referred to by the two doctors, B. temporary total disability (TTD) benefits consisting of 66 2/3rds of your average weekly wage rate, and C. permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits where the injury has resulted in a permanent loss.  Back to top

When do TTD benefits begin?

After the 3rd missed day from work. The first 3 days of disability can be recouped providing you are disabled fourteen (14) or more days.  Back to top

When am I entitled to PPD benefits?

After you have reached maximum medical improvement and your doctor says that you are not able to function the same as before the accident. These benefits will greatly vary depending on the nature of your injury, time lost from work, whether surgery was involved, and depending on the type of medical restrictions imposed by your doctor. The expertise of an experienced worker’s compensation practitioner can guide you through this process.  Back to top

What if I am unable to perform my customary duties?

Your employer may be required to provide you with vocational rehabilitation and/or retraining to return you to some type of suitable employment. If your new job does not pay as much as your old job, your employer may be required to pay 66 2/3rds of the difference.  Back to top

What if I am unable to work at all?

Then you may qualify for total permanent disability (TPD) benefits.   Back to top

HOW DO I INCREASE MY CHANCES OF SUCCESSFULLY WINNING MY CASE?

Avoid giving oral or written declarations and/or statements without first consulting with a lawyer.

Avoid filling out any reports or forms requested of any party without first consulting with a lawyer.

Observe your doctor’s recommended plan for treatment and do not miss scheduled medical appointments unnecessarily.

Do not engage in any physical activity in violation of your doctor’s prescribed orders as the insurance company may place you under surveillance.

Do not miss any time from work without a medical excuse.

Keep your employer advised at all times as to the status of your medical treatment, including updated disability notes. Failure to do so will result in your being fired for just cause which could jeopardize certain benefits under the Worker’s Compensation Act.

Keep copies of all medical records, disability notes, and medical statements.

Keep a diary of all matters concerning your accident, including conversations with your employer (dates, times, places and persons present during such conversations).

When in doubt, consult with a qualified attorney.

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