Illinois Workers’ Compensation is a system of benefits provided by law to most workers who have job-related injuries or illnesses. Benefits are paid for injuries that are caused, in whole or in part, by an employee’s work. This may include the aggravation of a pre-existing condition, injuries brought on by the repetitive use of a part of the body, heart attacks, or any other physical problem caused by work. Benefits are paid regardless of fault, and employees are covered from their first day of work.
I understand that an employer pays the benefits either directly or through a service or insurance company that administers the program for the employer. No part of the workers’ compensation insurance premium or benefits can be charged to the employee.
The employer must post a notice in the work place indicating the name of the person, service company or insurance company (including the insurance policy number) to contact for questions relating to workers’ compensation. The Illinois Complete Labor Law poster is available reflecting an area for this notification to be filled out.
By law, an employer must pay for all necessary medical services required to cure or relieve the effects of the injury or illness. The employee may choose two physicians, surgeons, or hospitals. Where necessary, the employer must also pay for physical, mental, or vocational rehabilitation, within prescribed limits.
An employee must notify the employer of the accidental injury or illness within 45 days, either orally or in writing. An employer is required by law to report accidents that result in more than three lost work days to the Workers’ Compensation Commission. Once the accident is reported, the employee must receive a handbook that explains the law, benefits, and procedures.
If the employee must lose time from work to recover from the injury or illness, they may be entitled to receive weekly payments and necessary medical care until they are able to return to work that is reasonably available.
When the employee has sustained an injury or disease which results in permanent disability, scarring or other disfigurement, additional benefits are provided to the
employee. If the injury or disease results in the employee’s death, certain members of the employee’s family are entitled to benefits.
I read that it is against the law for an employer to harass, discharge, refuse to rehire or in any way discriminate against an employee for exercising his or her rights under the Workers’ Compensation Act.
Generally, claims must be filed within three years of the injury or disablement from an occupational disease, or within two years of the last workers’ compensation payment, whichever is later.