What Happens When Your Employer Doesn’t Have Workers’ Comp Insurance?

Most employers in Illinois are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. An estimated 91 percent of all Illinois employers will have workers’ comp insurance, but there is still a chance that your employer does not have coverage. So, what do you do in that situation? Are you still able to get benefits?

Workers’ Comp Insurance Requirements for Employers

Most employers must have workers’ comp insurance, but there are a few exceptions. For example, there is no need for someone who owns their own business and has no employees to carry workers’ comp insurance. However, if this person has even just one part time employee, then they are required to obtain workers’ comp insurance in Illinois.

Even family members who work for one another must carry workers’ comp insurance. There may be some exceptions such as for corporate officers or those who work for an agricultural enterprise.

If the employer does not carry workers’ comp insurance, then it will be subject to a $500 fine for every day of non-compliance, with a minimum fine of $10,000. It is apparent that Illinois takes this requirement very seriously. In fact, since 2006, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission has collected over $7 million in fines. Those fines are then deposited into the Injured Workers’ Benefit Fund.

What Will My Claim Look Like if My Employer Does Not Have Workers’ Comp Insurance?

In most situations, you would report your injury to your employer, and then your employer would also report to their insurance carrier. If they do not have insurance, however, your claim may look a bit different. You may have to file an Application for Adjustment of Claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (“IWCC”), which names your employer.

You should join the State Treasurer on your Application for Adjustment of Claim. This will notify the state that you are filing for benefits, but your employer does not have insurance. The paperwork involved in this process is a little bit different from your average workers’ compensation case. Your Chicago workers’ comp attorney can help you with this process.

It is important to keep in mind that sometimes employers will tell employees that they do not have workers’ comp insurance in the hope that you will simply not file a claim. Instead, they do have insurance but they do not want to report it. This is partly because reporting an injury could mean an increase in their premiums. To combat this, you should search the IWCC’s website to see if your employer does in fact have insurance. You an access their search tool here.

Are There Any Other Options?

Like most states, Illinois does not allow you to bring a personal injury case if workers’ compensation would cover your injuries. That includes situations where your employer does not have worker’ compensation insurance as well. Your only real remedy is to use the Injured Workers’ Benefit Fund from the State of Illinois.

The skilled workers’ comp attorneys at Disparti Law Group, P.A. can help you with your workers’ comp case, regardless of whether your employer carries workers’ comp insurance or not. Contact us for more information.

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