How much is my case worth?

  • Our Settlement and Valuation Guide to permanent disability benefits can help you understand how much your Illinois workers’ compensation claim may be worth. [...]

Basic Requirements

  • There are a number of requirements that must be met in order to have a compensable Illinois workers’ compensation claim. These are set forth in the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission’s Request for Hearing form, which is filed before an arbitration hearing. You can find a [...]
  • To be eligible for Illinois workers’ compensation benefits, Illinois must have jurisdiction over the claim as set forth in the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act or Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act. Each state has its own workers’ compensation system. The laws of each state declare the circumstances under [...]
  • Skyway at sunset
    The employee and their employer must be “operating under” the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act or Occupational Diseases Act to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Four types of employers are defined as operating under the Workers’ Compensation Act: Government employers Private employers by election or automatic application [...]
  • Semi-truck on highway
    Illinois workers’ compensation benefits are only available to claimants that have an employment relationship with the respondent (defendant). In other words, you must be an employee to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. This may seem obvious until you consider the difficulty in distinguishing employees from independent [...]
  • Woman with phone and clock
    Injured workers generally must provide notice of their accident to their employers within 45 days to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in Illinois. You must provide notice of the accident to your employer as soon as practicable, but not later than 45 days. 820 ILCS 305/6(c) Illinois General [...]
  • Workers on frame
    To qualify for Illinois workers’ compensation benefits, an employee must have sustained an accidental injury or been exposed to an occupational disease “arising out of” and “in the course of” their employment. This basic requirement, which is the subject of many disputed claims, is found in [...]
  • Falling Dominoes
    An injured worker must show that his or her current condition of ill-being is causally connected to a work-related accident or occupational  disease exposure to be eligible for Illinois workers’ compensation benefits. Causation is a frequently disputed issue in workers’ compensation claims, especially where the injured [...]
  • Picture of clock
    Injured workers in Illinois generally have 3 years to file an “Application for Adjustment of Claim” with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission if no benefits have been paid or, if benefits have been paid, 2 years from the last date of payment. You can receive workers’ [...]

Medical Benefits

  • Doctor
    Injured workers with compensable Illinois workers’ compensation claims are entitled to reasonable and necessary medical treatment. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act provides: The employer shall provide and pay … for all the necessary first aid, medical and surgical services, and all necessary medical, surgical and hospital services [...]
  • Doctor taking blood pressure
    Injured workers in Illinois are generally allowed to choose their own medical providers. This is limited, however, by the two-physician or chain of referrals rule. 820 ILCS 305/8(a) Illinois General Assembly | IWCC PDF; Absolute Cleaning/SVMBL v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, 409 Ill. App. 3d [...]
  • Stethoscope
    Employers and their insurance companies can require injured workers to submit to an independent medical examination, also known as an IME or section 12 exam, to determine the nature, extent, and probable duration of the injury. Following the exam, the employer’s doctor will author a report and [...]
  • Woman in physical therapy
    Employers and insurance companies can evaluate the medical necessity of proposed or previously provided medical treatment with a process called utilization review (“UR”). Section 8.7 of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act governs the use of utilization review, which it defines as: the evaluation of proposed [...]

Temporary Disability Benefits

  • Temporary total disability (TTD) benefits replace wages for injured workers in Illinois when they are unable to work until their medical condition stabilizes. The start date of TTD benefit eligibility depends on how long the injured worker is unable to return to work. Section 8(b) [...]
  • Hard hats hanging up
    Temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits are available to Illinois injured workers when they are working light duty and earning less than they would be earning in the full capacity of the job. 820 ILCS 305/8(a) IWCC PDF. TPD benefits are available while the injured worker is [...]
  • Job search with classified and cover letter
    Vocational rehabilitation is a program designed to return an injured person to work within their capabilities. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act provides: The employer shall also pay for treatment, instruction and training necessary for the physical, mental and vocational rehabilitation of the employee, including all maintenance costs [...]
  • Office paperwork
    An injured worker’s “average weekly wage” is the basis for calculating all temporary and permanent disability benefits under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation and Workers’ Occupational Diseases Acts. Because small differences in the calculation add up quickly over the life of a claim, average weekly wage is [...]

Permanent Disability Benefits

  • Welder
    The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act provides a schedule of permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits for certain body parts. Under section 8(e) of the Act, these body parts (or members) are assigned a certain maximum number of weeks of PPD benefits at the injured worker’s PPD rate. [...]
  • Painter staring at wall
    Person-as-a-whole benefits are one type of permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits available under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act and Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act to injured workers who suffer serious and permanent injuries. They are also sometimes called man-as-a-whole or 8(d)(2) benefits. Section 8(d)(2) of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act [...]
  • Security Guard
    Wage differential benefits are a type of permanent partial disability (PPD) available to injured workers in Illinois who have suffered a loss of earning capacity as a result of a work-related accident or occupational exposure. Wage differential benefits are set forth in section 8(d)(1) of [...]
  • Mining excavator at sunset
    Injured workers who are unable to return to any gainful work after their accident or occupational exposure are entitled permanent total disability (PTD) benefits in Illinois. Section 8(f) of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act provides, in part: In case of complete disability, which renders the employee [...]
  • Man at desk
    Disfigurement benefits are available under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act if an accident does not result in any permanent disability. 820 ILCS 305/8(c) Illinois General Assembly | IWCC PDF. Serious and Permanent Disfigurement Section 8(c) of the Act provides benefits for “serious and permanent” disfigurement to the: [...]

Lawyers & Insurance

  • Gloves and Helmet
    Injured workers that are unreasonably denied medical and disability benefits by insurance companies can seek substantial penalties from the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. To do this, injured workers must file their claim and a petition for penalties with the Commission. Injured workers who feel their [...]
  • Law books and gavel
    The cost of hiring a lawyer for an Illinois workers’ compensation case is entirely set by law. In most cases, attorneys’ fees will be equal to 20% of what the attorney recovers in permanent disability benefits. Also, costs and expenses will be deducted from any award [...]
  • The Injured Workers’ Benefit Fund pays workers’ compensation benefits to Illinois workers whose employers have failed to provide insurance coverage as required by law and have failed to pay the benefits owed to them. Uninsured Employers Subject to Penalties and Fines Employers in Illinois are [...]

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In the News

  • Football playing being tackled
    A proposed bill would limit professional athletes from receiving Illinois workers’ compensation wage differential benefits past the age of 35, rather than the current age limit of 67 that applies to all employees, the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin reports. The proposal is reportedly the responsibility of [...]
  • Mental Health Abstract Art
    Jesse Jackson Jr., the former congressman convicted and sentenced to prison for misusing campaign funds, is collecting about $100,000 a year in federal workers’ compensation benefits for bipolar disorder and depression, the Chicago Tribune reports. The story has not so surprisingly generated collective outrage (at [...]

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