Workers’ Compensation Laws

When you are injured on the job in Illinois, you are entitled to receive free medical treatment and compensation of your wages. This is also true if you develop a serious illness due to the conditions of your job. In the event that you die from your injuries, your dependents are also entitled to survivor benefits. To initiate workers’ compensation benefits, you must report your injury or illness to your immediate supervisor within 30 days. He or she is then responsible for submitting your claim to the company that provides workers’ compensation insurance for your employer.

Benefits You Can Expect

As an injured worker, you are not required to pay any of the cost of your medical treatment. This includes deductibles, co-payments and the cost of prescription medication. To seek reimbursement for these costs, you must retain a copy of the receipt and submit it to your workers’ compensation representative. Some of the medical costs that are covered by workers’ compensation include doctor appointments, physical therapy, transportation costs, medical devices and hospital stays. When your workers’ compensation claim is approved, you will receive a list of doctors, clinics and hospitals that you can visit.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits While You Recover

Assuming your injury is not permanent, you are eligible to receive Temporary Total Disability (TTD) under Illinois state law. TTD means that you are temporarily unable to perform any functions of your job until you recover from your illness or injury. You are entitled to receive two-thirds of your weekly pay based on your number of dependents. As of January 2010, the minimum weekly amount for TTD is $213 for a single employee with no dependents. The maximum amount you can receive per week is $1,243, regardless of the number of dependents you have.

Survivor Benefits

If you die as the result of an injury or illness suffered on the job, your direct dependents can receive financial compensation. Illinois state law considers your direct dependents to be your spouse and minor children. If you are unmarried and don’t have children who depend on your for their support, the payments would go to your parents. However, the law stipulates that your parents must be completely dependent on you financially in order to receive the benefits. If neither of these situations pertain to you, the award can go to anyone for whom you provided at least 50 percent support.

Like TTF benefits, your survivors are entitled to two-thirds of your weekly salary. The benefit lasts for a maximum of 25 years or $500,000, whichever comes first. Your employer is also required to contribute $8,000 to the cost of burial. This figure is current as of January 2010.

Do You Need a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?

If you feel that your claim has been unfairly denied or that the amount of your TTD is inadequate, you may want to hire a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney. Many injured workers also find they are dissatisfied with their doctors and hire an attorney to help them obtain better care.