Illinois Workers’ Compensation Overview
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Previous to 1970 the compensation for work / worker injuries was very low. In 1970, Congress passed the OSHA act – Occupational Safety and Health Act and at the same time did a study that looked into the adequacy of the existing workers’ compensation laws. After the study was completed, 19 recommendations were presented and made into law to the Act in 1975.
Changes were made to death benefits, permanent partial disability (PPD), and to temporary total disability benefits. Basically benefits were set at 66.66% of the employee’s average weekly wage, up to 100% of the state average weekly wage. In addition, the statute of limitations were increased to three years after an accident, and to two years after the last payment of worker compensation. The old statutes allowed for only one year after either occurence.
Other changes included:
Illegal to fire an employee based on the employee filing a workers’ compensation claim
Employees were given greater freedom to choose their own doctors(s)
Employees allowed access to rehab at the employer’s expense
Additional changes and revisions were made in 1984, 1989, 1991, 2005 and 2011. You can learn more about the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act – HERE.
What are the time limitations on filing a workers’ compensation claim?
An employee must file a claim within three years after the death, disablement, injury or occupational disease. The time limitations are two years after the last payment of temporary disability or a medical bill (whichever is later).
Some conditions have different deadlines:
- Asbestos – an employee must file within 25 years after the last exposure.
- Death – must be filed within three years of the death, or within two years of the date of the last compensation payment to the deceased employee under the Workers’ Compensation Act, and within three years of the last compensation payment under the Occupational Diseases Act.
- Occupational disease – must file within three years of the disablement date, and within two years of the date of the last employee compensation payment.
- Pneumoconiosis – must file within five years of the last employee compensation payment, or five years after the last exposure date.
- Radiation – employee must file 25 years after the last exposure date.
Workers’ Compensation Attorney Representation Agreements
You are allowed to have an attorney represent you in a workers’ compensation claim. Attorneys fees are regulated by the Workers’ Compensation Act, and must be approved by the Commission. Attorney fees are limited to 20% of the compensation recovered, unless additional fees are approved by the Commission during the hearing.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Medical Benefits – Employer’s must pay the needed medical expenses of an injured employee.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits – When an employee is injured in an employment related work injury, the time that the employee is unable to work is the time commonly called temporarily totally disabled. This is the time used to heal from a work injury or accident. The employee is entitled to weekly compensation during the time the incapacity to work lasts.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) – This occurs when an employee is able to do some work, but not the work that the employee would normally be able to do at full capacity due to a work related injury. As an example, if an employee is able to return to work at a diminished capacity with a diminshed wage earning capacity / ability the employee is disadvantaged. Therefore the employee is eligible for TBD benefits to make up the wage difference.
Vocational Rehabilitation & Maintenance – When an employee cannot return to work in the same capacity due to a work related injury, the employee entitled to services to help him or her find employment that will provide the same compensation level that the employee had before the work injury occurred. This can include job counseling, job search participation, vocational retraining, and education at an accredited learning institution.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) – Normally an employee is entitled to PPD benefits if that employee is no longer able to do the work that they were able to do before the work related injury occurred. These can occur in cases that include the complete or partial loss of a body part, or the use of a body part, or the partial loss of the use of the body for work in whole. There are five different kinds of PPD benefits. Some common benefits include amputation, disfigurement, non-schedule of injuries, schedule of injuries, and wage differential benefits.
Permanent Total Disability (PTD) – Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, an employee is entitled to PTD benefits when they are permanently unable to work in any profession due to a disability for which there is a reasonable job market for a stable job, or has permanent and complete loss of both hands, arms, feet, legs, eyes, or any two of these body parts combined.
Death Benefits For Surviving Family – Employee’s family members may be entitled to death benefits under the Workers Compensation Act.
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We believe that you deserve to receive appropriate compensation after being injured at your place of employment. Don’t let your claim fall by the wayside!
We at Kosin Law Office, LTD. have handled thousands of workers’ compensation claims and legal cases.
If you have been hurt or injured, let us help you get the justice and compensation you deserve!
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We have handled thousands of accident and injury law cases. Contact us today and let our knowledge and experience work for you. We provide personal attention and offer free and confidential consultations.