Workers’ compensation benefits offer critical financial support for people who are injured on the job. This form of insurance—employers are required to pay into a workers’ comp fund so that benefits are available in the event of an injury—primarily covers medical costs and missed wages related to the injury. The type and amount of benefits vary based on the circumstances.
In order to obtain benefits, you have to show that your injury or illness is work-related. That’s relatively straightforward for a construction worker injured in an accident on the job or a delivery driver hurt in a car crash while on the clock. Cases involving illnesses discovered over time or chronic injuries that may have multiple causes can be harder to establish. That’s why it’s vital that a person considering seeking workers’ compensation benefits contact an experienced workers’ comp lawyer.
Benefits Claims Process
To start the claim process, you have to notify your employer of the injury. The sooner you do that, the sooner you can start getting benefits. Injured workers have 45 days under Illinois law to tell their employers about an on the job injury or illness. That includes describing the injury and how and where it happened.
If the company and its insurer don’t agree to pay you the benefits, you have to file an application with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. You also have to provide a copy of that application to your employer. It is important to give a clear and compelling description of your injuries and your right to benefits as part of this application. That means explaining how and where the injuries happened and using medical records to detail the impact of the injury on your ability to work. In some cases, you may also request a hearing on your claim.
How to Appeal
Unfortunately, many legitimate claims for workers’ compensation benefits are initially rejected, even after the claim is filed with the Commission. That means you have to appeal the decision in order to get benefits. A worker who is approved for benefits can also appeal the decision if he or she believes the benefit amount is too low.
The first step in the appeals process is to file a petition for review with the commission. Then you have to go to a hearing before a three-member panel. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer is vital during this process: the lawyer can help present the evidence to the commission in the most convincing manner. If the commission rules against you, further appeals can be taken to the state courts.
Speak With a Chicago Workers’ Comp Lawyer at the Jackowiak Law Offices Today
A Chicago workers’ comp lawyer at the Jackowiak Law Offices can help you get back on your feet after an injury by getting you the financial support to which you are entitled under the law. Our offices are conveniently located in downtown Chicago and we are happy to come to you if needed. Contact us online or call us at (312) 795-9595 to speak with an attorney today.