According to a 2019 report from the State of Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, Illinois had a workers injury rate of 2,771 per 100,000 workers. While this was actually less than the nationwide average, employees in the state are still susceptible to workplace injuries.
If you suffered an illness or injury in the course of carrying out your job duties, you may want to file a workers’ compensation claim but are unsure of how to proceed.
What steps do you need to take?
The first action to take is to inform your employer about the harm you suffered (after obtaining medical care) because they are responsible for starting the workers’ compensation process with the insurer. Ensure you have documentation of your injuries, including pictures, the names of healthcare workers you saw, receipts and bills for anything related to treatment and recovery, and a record of how your sickness or injury affects your life. Communicate with your boss to make sure you fulfill all the requirements, such as filling out the proper paperwork.
What is the timeline for this?
You need to submit your claim within three years after your injury. The exception is if you received some form of benefit that falls into the “compensation” category. If so, you can file an Application for Adjustment of Claim within two years of the last payment you received. Your employer has 14 days to either accept or deny your claim if you miss work for three or more days as a result of your illness or injury and 30 days within which to file an accident report with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Workers’ compensation is a tool that helps cover your medical costs and lost income from missing work. If you receive a denial, you do have recourse to appeal.