Many of the settlement contracts the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission receives have errors. When this occurs, the settlement contracts are returned to the worker. With over 40,000 settlement contracts sent into the IWCC each year, there is simply not enough time for the IWCC to make the corrections. Some of the most common errors that result in delays include:

— Missing signatures.

— The attorney’s fees are more than 20 percent of the settlement amount.

— A date for returning to work is not listed.

— The weekly benefit rate or the computations are incorrect.

— A change has been made on the settlement contract and each failed to date and initial the change.

— All blanks are not completed on the form.

— The contract was copies by an attorney, but is not an exact copy in terms of fonts, spacing, wording, color of paper and more.

— The cover letter was not copied to the other party.

There are some other things you can do to prevent other problems, too. These include:

— Include a self-addressed envelope that is large enough for a copy of the approved downstate contract and make sure there is enough postage on it.

— Enclose enough copies of your settlement contract. The arbitrator must be able to keep one more than however many cases are on the contract. For instance, if there are three cases on the settlement contract, then send four copies.

— Take the settlement contract to the commissioner assigned to your case if the arbitration decision has been appeal and the arbitrator doesn’t have jurisdiction any longer.

The process can be complex, but it must be completed correctly in order for you to see your benefits. A lawyer experienced in workers’ compensation cases can be a tremendous help.

Source: Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs),” accessed March 31, 2016