Understanding the workers’ compensation process in Illinois

Understanding the workers’ compensation process in Illinois

If you experience a workplace injury or illness in Illinois, you can seek coverage for medical bills and other costs through the state Workers’ Compensation Commission. However, you must carefully follow legal guidelines to ensure you receive your entitled compensation.

Injury or illness notification

Tell your employer immediately if you experience an injury at work or when you receive a diagnosis of a work-related health problem. You can legally provide oral notice, but you should also provide written notification within 45 days of the diagnosis or accident. However, individuals exposed to radiation while on the job have up to 90 days to provide notification to their employer.

Adjustment of Claim application

The Adjustment of Claim process begins when your employer does not automatically pay for your medical costs and disability payments. You must file a claim along with proof that you have given your employer a copy of the form within three years of your date of injury or diagnosis.

Exceptions exist for individuals diagnosed with pneumoconiosis, as they can file a claim within five years of learning of the illness. People who became sick after exposure to radiation or asbestos also receive an extended period of 25 years to file the Adjustment of Claim form.

Medical care and benefits

Your employer must give you a choice of approved doctors after receiving your Adjustment of Claim form. After you have missed three days of work because of the illness or injury, the company must either start paying you temporary benefits or provide a written denial notice with an explanation within 14 days. The employer has 30 days after notification to file its own report with the WCC.

When your employer does not respond within these deadlines, you can file your own claim with the WCC. You may also file an appeal if your employer denies your claim for workers’ compensation benefits. The WCC will schedule a hearing at which you and your attorney can present evidence to support your claim.