Workers Compensation FAQ from Chicago’s Experienced Attorneys
Contact the dedicated workers’ comp lawyers of Malman Law.
What is workers’ compensation?
Worker’s Compensation is a system of benefits provided by law to most workers who have job-related injuries or diseases. These benefits are paid regardless of fault. The amount of the benefits is limited by law.
What benefits are paid under workers’ compensation?
In most cases, worker’s compensation benefits are paid for accidental injuries that are caused, in whole or in part, by the employee’s work. In addition, if a work accident aggravates a pre-existing condition, you are entitled to receive benefits under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Diseases Acts.
How long do employees have to file workers’ compensation benefits?
For accidental injuries, within 45 days after the accident. For occupational diseases and repetitive injuries, the employee must notify the employer as soon as practicable after he or she becomes aware of the condition. A delay in notifying the employer can result in a delay in the payment of benefits.
Can an employee be fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim?
No. Employees cannot lose their jobs for filing workers’ compensation cases. It is against the law for an employer to discharge, harass and/or fire or refuse to rehire or discriminate in any way against an employee who files a workers’ compensation case. Such conduct by the employer may entitle the injured employee to bring a separate suit for damages.
Can the employee choose his/her own treating doctor or hospital?
Yes. An employee may choose any doctor or hospital at the employer’s expense. You should inform your employer in writing of the name and address of the doctor or hospital chosen.
Can the employer ask for an evaluation by its own physician?
Yes. If the employee claims to be entitled to benefits and the employer asks for an examination by a doctor of its choice, the employee must undergo the examination at a reasonable time and place. The employer must pay for this examination. In addition, the employer must pay, in advance, sufficient money to defray travel expenses. If the employee loses time from work, the employer must provide reimbursement for lost wages.
Are workers’ compensation payments subject to income tax?
No. Workers’ compensation payments are not subject to state or federal income tax.
Does an employee have to give a recorded statement to the employer?
The employee is not required and should never give a recorded statement. If you choose to give a recorded statement, the employer may use it against you.
What if an employee cannot return to the same occupation after an injury or exposure and cannot earn as much money?
Employees who cannot return to the same occupation after the work-related injury or disease are entitled to receive a wage differential. The wage differential is two-thirds of the difference between the amount the employee would otherwise be earning in the full performance of his job if the accident had not occurred, and the amount he or she is able to earn after the injury.
How is the attorney compensated?
The attorney’s fee is limited to 20% of the amount of compensation recovered, unless the Commission allows additional fees after a hearing.