Some industries, like manufacturing and construction, may have higher rates of workplace injuries. However, workers can suffer on-the-job injuries in any type of job. Illinois workers’ compensation program provides benefits for workers who are injured on the job. Benefits include medical coverage and disability benefits until the individual can return to work.
There are certain requirements for filing your workers’ comp claim in Aurora and if you make a mistake or do not file in time, your claim may be delayed or denied. Contact and experienced Aurora workers’ comp lawyer with questions about filing your claim or appealing a denial to make sure you get the benefits you are owed. Contact the Cullotta Bravo Law Group today.
Workers’ Compensation Filing in Illinois
With limited exceptions, all employers in Illinois are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. The Workers’ Compensation Act provides coverage for accidents that arise out of and in the course of employment. Injuries can be related to a one-time accident, like falling off scaffolding, or from exposure over time, like repetitive stress injuries.
If an employee is injured at work, the employee should notify the employer of the injury as soon as practicable. However, there is generally a time limit of 45 days after the accident to notify the employer. Late notification may result in delay or denial of benefits. After an employee reports the injury, the employer should notify the insurance carrier about a possible workers’ comp claim.
If the employee is unable to work for more than 3 days because of the injury, the employer must do one of the following:
- – Begin temporary total disability (TTD) payments.
- – Give the employee a written explanation for any additional information the employer needs to begin payments.
- – Give the employee a written explanation of why benefits are being denied.
Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission in Aurora
The nearest Workers’ Compensation Commission office to Aurora is the Chicago office.
100 W Randolph St Suite 8-200
Chicago, IL 60601
What to Do If Benefits are Denied
There are several reasons why a workers’ comp claim may be denied, including clerical errors or the claim was not submitted in time. However, an employer may also wrongly deny payments for a legitimate injury. An employer may claim the injury did not occur at work because there were no witnesses, or claim the injury was not that serious. If your workers’ comp claim was denied, you should talk to your workers’ comp attorney to understand your rights and how you can fight back to get compensation.
If your claim was denied, you should be given a written explanation of why your claim was denied and your rights to an appeal. There is a limited amount of time to request a hearing, so contact your Aurora workers’ comp lawyer as soon as possible to act.
The appeal process generally involves an arbitration hearing with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC). Before arbitration, the worker may have to wait until reaching the “maximum medical improvement.” This may mean waiting several weeks or months before the arbitrator can decide.
After the arbitrator decides, if the arbitrator agrees with the employer and denies the claim, the employee can further appeal the decision before a panel of commissioners. The Commission will review the records, any written arguments, and conduct a trial to come to a final decision. If the Commission further denies the compensation, the injured worker may be able to file an appeal in court.
My Employer Fired Me After Reporting a Workplace Injury
It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against a worker for filing a workers’ comp claim or otherwise exercising labor law rights. Unfortunately, this does not mean it doesn’t happen. An employer may try and get an injured employee not to file a claim or suggest the claim won’t be covered because it is the employee’s fault.
Alternatively, an employer may come up with an excuse after the accident and claim the employee had performance issues or was showing up late. Employment in Illinois is at-will, meaning an employer can fire an employee for any reason or no reason at all. However, an employer cannot fire an employee for filing a workers’ comp claim or cooperating with a workers’ compensation investigation.
If you were fired, harassed, not hired, demoted, or otherwise discriminated against for reporting or filing an accident claim, talk to your Aurora workers’ comp lawyer.
Aurora Workers’ Comp Attorney
If your workers’ comp claim was denied or if you believe your employer is trying to cancel your benefits, an experienced workers’ comp attorney can help you get the benefits you are owed. Contact the Cullotta Bravo Law Group today at 630-898-7800 to schedule your free consultation.