Workplace injuries are an all too common occurrence that can cause workers to miss extended periods of employment time and may leave them struggling to pay their bills. Workers’ compensation benefits were designed for these exact situations, and in Chicago, most workers are covered by these benefits after suffering an on-the-job injury. However, many people aren’t very familiar with workers’ compensation laws, including the process of applying for these benefits. Read on to learn to apply for workers’ comp in Chicago and find out how an attorney can fight for your benefits after they’ve been denied.
Employer Requirements for Workers’ Comp
Employers in Chicago must follow strict workers’ comp regulations in order to protect themselves and their employees. Firstly, an employer is mandated by law to purchase workers’ comp insurance to cover their employees. Secondly, employers must keep a posted notice to alert their employees about their workers’ comp coverage and how to obtain benefits. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, employers have to maintain comprehensive records of workplace injuries that cause employees to miss more than three days of work and are required to disclose all such injuries to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC).
The Types of Benefits You’re Entitled To
After an on the job injury that affects your ability to work, you are entitled to a number of benefits to help you recover from your injury and make ends meet until you are well enough to go back to work. First and foremost, you are entitled by law to receive medical care that will either completely correct or help to alleviate your injury. Next, depending on the severity of your injury, you are eligible to receive temporary total disability benefits, permanent partial disability benefits, and permanent total disability benefits. You may also have access to job training and vocational rehabilitation to help you find another job if you are not able to return to your previous position.
As a final note on benefits, family members of someone who has been killed in a on the job accident may be entitled to compensations as well.
Report Your Claim in a Timely Manner
Now that you’ve learned about some of the basics for workers’ comp in Chicago, you might be wondering how to apply for these benefits. Fortunately, the process is very simple. Once you’ve suffered a work place injury, you should report the injury to your employer right away, making sure to include the exact date and time of the accident. Understand, however, that there are time frames for reporting—45 days for normal injuries, 90 days for those involving excess doses of radiation.
After you’ve reported your injury, it’s time for your employer to act. The first thing your employer must do is provide emergency medical treatment if it is needed. Following that, your employer must contact the insurance company about the injury. If the injury causes you to miss more than three days of work, one of three things will happen:
- Your employer will start giving you temporary total disability benefits.
- Your employer will request more information about your accident.
- Your employer will deny your benefits and provide you with a letter explaining the denial.
If you find yourself in a situation where your employer has denied your benefits, you need to contact the IWCC.
File a Dispute with the IWCC if Your Claim is Denied
If you’re employer has decided to deny your workers’ comp claim, your next step should be to file a dispute with the Illinois Workers’ Comp Commission. After filling out and filing all of the appropriate paperwork, the Commission will review your case and have a hearing. Depending on the evidence you present the IWCC, the denial will be upheld or you will receive your worker’s comp benefits, possibly also entitling you to retroactive payments. However, if you believe your dispute has been rejected by the Commission unfairly, you still have the option of taking legal action by hiring an expert workers’ comp attorney.
Get Your Workers’ Comp with Legal Help
Suffering a workplace injury can be one of the most harrowing experiences that a person can have during their careers. Following your injury, you may find it hard to support yourself under the weight of excess medical bills and not being able to work. Many people find relief in workers’ comp benefits, but for those whose benefits have been denied, legal action is the only solutions. To fight for your workers’ comp benefits, hire an expert attorney from the Disparti Law Group. We’ll work for you so that you’ll get the benefits you need to move on with your life. Request a free consultation from the Disparti Law Group today.