• Workers’ Comp/Disability Resources

  • Your Rights Under the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act

    An employee injured while performing work-related activities has certain rights to compensation under Chapter 48 of the Illinois Revised Statutes. Generally, all injuries which arise from your employment are compensable, without regard to fault or negligence.

    Our unions and labor organization have fought long and hard to see that this legislation was enacted and stays in force. The Act does not, however, work automatically. Knowing and Protecting your rights is very important.

  • What to Do First…

    1. Get Proper Health Care.
    2. Notify Your Employer.
    3. Do Not Agree to Give a Recorded Statement
    4. Consult a Qualified Attorney.
    5. Ask Your Doctor to Explain the Nature of Your Injury.
    6. Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions and Recommendations.
    7. Do Not Rush Your Recovery or Attempt to Return to Work Without a Release From Your Doctor.
    8. Ask for and Read the Industrial Commission Handbook.
    9. Request Temporary Workers’ Compensation Payments While You are Under Doctor’s Care and Unable to Work.
    10. Never Assume Your Case is Too Small.

    *Remember*

    Worker’s Compensation benefits are like insurance. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you are not covered. ALWAYS CONSULT A QUALIFIED ATTORNEY.

  • Medical Coverage

    The Workers’ Compensation Act requires that your employer pays for health care related to your injury. Health care has been defined to include first-aid, medical, surgical, and chiropractic treatment.

    Apart from emergency and hospital services, you may receive treatment from two physicians of your choice. Those two physicians may refer you to as many other physicians, hospitals, or clinics as are reasonable and necessary to treat your injury. This is called the “chain of referral.” If your injury is within the scope of the Act, your reasonable and necessary health care expenses within the “chain of referral” will be paid.

  • Temporary Total Disability

    You are entitled to benefits for the period that your doctor says you are unable to work. Do what your doctors tell you. Your attorney will see that you continue to receive temporary disability payments while you are off work.

    Always ask your doctor for an “off work slip” for your employer and keep a copy for yourself and your attorney.

  • Permanent Disability

    Nearly all injuries involve some permanency. This is obvious when you lose a hand, or an eye, or some function of your body. It is less obvious, but just compensable when you lost part of the strength or use a part of your body. Even a broken bone can make you more susceptible to future injury. Never assume that your injury is not at least partially permanent. Consult your attorney to make this determination.

  • Occupational Diseases

    Sometimes an illness or disease can be caused by your work environment. We all know that coal miners have had problems with “black lung” disease. Today, exposure to toxins may be one of the most common causes of occupational disease; consult a qualified professional regarding this matter.

  • Vocational Rehabilitation

    If an injury prevents you from returning to work, your employer can be required to assist you in finding alternative employment or retrain you. The cost of the retraining is the responsibility of your employer. You are also entitled to receive compensation during your job search and training.

  • Return to Work

    Only after your treating doctor determines that you can return to work should you agree to do so. Your eligibility for continuing disability benefits may be jeopardized if your employer’s doctor disagrees with your own doctor.

  • When the Act Does Not Apply…

    Never assume that the Act does not apply to your injury. Always consult a qualified attorney regarding the specifics of your situation. Nevertheless, there are certain limitations on your ability to recover compensation, including the following:

    1. WAITING TOO LONG TO MAKE A CLAIM - Under most circumstances, a claim must be filed within three years from the date of the accident.
    1. “COURSE AND SCOPE” - To be covered by the Act, an injury must occur while performing some duty within the scope of your employment.
    1. “ARISING OUT OF” - An injury arises out of your employment if it is caused by a risk connected with or incidental to your job.
    1. EMPLOYER/EMPLOYEE RELATIONSHIP - While only employees are covered by the Act, the definition is broad.
    1. “NATURE AND EXTENT” - A determination must be made on the basis of a qualified medical opinion as to the nature of the injury and the effect it has on your ability to do work.