If you suffer an injury while on the job in the state of Illinois, you are likely entitled to worker’s compensation benefits, regardless of whether your employer was at fault for the injury. Workers’ compensation benefits typically cover medical expenses and lost wages resulting from your workplace injury.
Reporting the injury
In order to receive workers’ compensation benefits, you must first report your injury to your employer, preferably in writing. You will generally have 45 days from the date of your injury to file your report, but in cases where symptoms do not appear until months or years later, you may have more time to file your report. You should also week medical care as soon as possible.
Once you have filed your report with your employer, your employer will have close to 30 days to report it the IWCC and their insurance company to process your claim and conduct an investigation. After an investigation, your employer will then inform you whether your claim for benefits has been approved or denied. If your claim is denied, it may be because your employer claims:
- Your injury did not occur within the scope of your employment.
- You failed to file your report within the proper time frame.
- Your injuries, if any, do not require the treatment you are receiving.
Dealing with denials
If you receive a denial, you can then file an application for adjustment claim and proof of service. The case will then proceed to an arbitration hearing, and after hearing both sides of the case, the arbitrator will make a decision. If the arbitrator files a denial, the next step will involve an appeal to the Illinois Circuit Court, followed by an appeal to the state Supreme court.
A worker’s compensation lawyer can help you navigate all of your workers’ compensation issues and ensure you recover the damages you deserve.