(820 ILCS 305/19) (from Ch. 48, par. 138.19)
Sec. 19. Any disputed questions of law or fact shall be determined as herein provided.
(a) It shall be the duty of the Commission upon notification that the parties have failed to reach an agreement, to designate an Arbitrator.
1. Whenever any claimant misconceives his remedy and files an application for adjustment of claim under this Act and it is subsequently discovered, at any time before final disposition of such cause, that the claim for disability or death which was the basis for such application should properly have been made under the Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act, then the provisions of Section 19, paragraph (a-1) of the Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act having reference to such application shall apply.
2. Whenever any claimant misconceives his remedy and files an application for adjustment of claim under the Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act and it is subsequently discovered, at any time before final disposition of such cause that the claim for injury or death which was the basis for such application should properly have been made under this Act, then the application so filed under the Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act may be amended in form, substance or both to assert claim for such disability or death under this Act and it shall be deemed to have been so filed as amended on the date of the original filing thereof, and such compensation may be awarded as is warranted by the whole evidence pursuant to this Act. When such amendment is submitted, further or additional evidence may be heard by the Arbitrator or Commission when deemed necessary. Nothing in this Section contained shall be construed to be or permit a waiver of any provisions of this Act with reference to notice but notice if given shall be deemed to be a notice under the provisions of this Act if given within the time required herein.
(b) The Arbitrator shall make such inquiries and investigations as he or they shall deem necessary and may examine and inspect all books, papers, records, places, or premises relating to the questions in dispute and hear such proper evidence as the parties may submit.
The hearings before the Arbitrator shall be held in the vicinity where the injury occurred after 10 days’ notice of the time and place of such hearing shall have been given to each of the parties or their attorneys of record.
The Arbitrator may find that the disabling condition is temporary and has not yet reached a permanent condition and may order the payment of compensation up to the date of the hearing, which award shall be reviewable and enforceable in the same manner as other awards, and in no instance be a bar to a further hearing and determination of a further amount of temporary total compensation or of compensation for permanent disability, but shall be conclusive as to all other questions except the nature and extent of said disability.
The decision of the Arbitrator shall be filed with the Commission which Commission shall immediately send to each party or his attorney a copy of such decision, together with a notification of the time when it was filed. As of the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 94th General Assembly, all decisions of the Arbitrator shall set forth in writing findings of fact and conclusions of law, separately stated, if requested by either party. Unless a petition for review is filed by either party within 30 days after the receipt by such party of the copy of the decision and notification of time when filed, and unless such party petitioning for a review shall within 35 days after the receipt by him of the copy of the decision, file with the Commission either an agreed statement of the facts appearing upon the hearing before the Arbitrator, or if such party shall so elect a correct transcript of evidence of the proceedings at such hearings, then the decision shall become the decision of the Commission and in the absence of fraud shall be conclusive. The Petition for Review shall contain a statement of the petitioning party’s specific exceptions to the decision of the arbitrator. The jurisdiction of the Commission to review the decision of the arbitrator shall not be limited to the exceptions stated in the Petition for Review. The Commission, or any member thereof, may grant further time not exceeding 30 days, in which to file such agreed statement or transcript of evidence. Such agreed statement of facts or correct transcript of evidence, as the case may be, shall be authenticated by the signatures of the parties or their attorneys, and in the event they do not agree as to the correctness of the transcript of evidence it shall be authenticated by the signature of the Arbitrator designated by the Commission.
Whether the employee is working or not, if the employee is not receiving or has not received medical, surgical, or hospital services or other services or compensation as provided in paragraph (a) of Section 8, or compensation as provided in paragraph (b) of Section 8, the employee may at any time petition for an expedited hearing by an Arbitrator on the issue of whether or not he or she is entitled to receive payment of the services or compensation. Provided the employer continues to pay compensation pursuant to paragraph (b) of Section 8, the employer may at any time petition for an expedited hearing on the issue of whether or not the employee is entitled to receive medical, surgical, or hospital services or other services or compensation as provided in paragraph (a) of Section 8, or compensation as provided in paragraph (b) of Section 8. When an employer has petitioned for an expedited hearing, the employer shall continue to pay compensation as provided in paragraph (b) of Section 8 unless the arbitrator renders a decision that the employee is not entitled to the benefits that are the subject of the expedited hearing or unless the employee’s treating physician has released the employee to return to work at his or her regular job with the employer or the employee actually returns to work at any other job. If the arbitrator renders a decision that the employee is not entitled to the benefits that are the subject of the expedited hearing, a petition for review filed by the employee shall receive the same priority as if the employee had filed a petition for an expedited hearing by an Arbitrator. Neither party shall be entitled to an expedited hearing when the employee has returned to work and the sole issue in dispute amounts to less than 12 weeks of unpaid compensation pursuant to paragraph (b) of Section 8.
Expedited hearings shall have priority over all other petitions and shall be heard by the Arbitrator and Commission with all convenient speed. Any party requesting an expedited hearing shall give notice of a request for an expedited hearing under this paragraph. A copy of the Application for Adjustment of Claim shall be attached to the notice. The Commission shall adopt rules and procedures under which the final decision of the Commission under this paragraph is filed not later than 180 days from the date that the Petition for Review is filed with the Commission.
Where 2 or more insurance carriers, private self-insureds, or a group workers’ compensation pool under Article V 3/4 of the Illinois Insurance Code dispute coverage for the same injury, any such insurance carrier, private self-insured, or group workers’ compensation pool may request an expedited hearing pursuant to this paragraph to determine the issue of coverage, provided coverage is the only issue in dispute and all other issues are stipulated and agreed to and further provided that all compensation benefits including medical benefits pursuant to Section 8(a) continue to be paid to or on behalf of petitioner. Any insurance carrier, private self-insured, or group workers’ compensation pool that is determined to be liable for coverage for the injury in issue shall reimburse any insurance carrier, private self-insured, or group workers’ compensation pool that has paid benefits to or on behalf of petitioner for the injury.
(b-1) If the employee is not receiving medical, surgical or hospital services as provided in paragraph (a) of Section 8 or compensation as provided in paragraph (b) of Section 8, the employee, in accordance with Commission Rules, may file a petition for an emergency hearing by an Arbitrator on the issue of whether or not he is entitled to receive payment of such compensation or services as provided therein. Such petition shall have priority over all other petitions and shall be heard by the Arbitrator and Commission with all convenient speed.
Such petition shall contain the following information and shall be served on the employer at least 15 days before it is filed:
(i) the date and approximate time of accident;
(ii) the approximate location of the accident;
(iii) a description of the accident;
(iv) the nature of the injury incurred by the employee;
(v) the identity of the person, if known, to whom the accident was reported and the date on which it was reported;
(vi) the name and title of the person, if known, representing the employer with whom the employee conferred in any effort to obtain compensation pursuant to paragraph (b) of Section 8 of this Act or medical, surgical or hospital services pursuant to paragraph (a) of Section 8 of this Act and the date of such conference;
(vii) a statement that the employer has refused to pay compensation pursuant to paragraph (b) of Section 8 of this Act or for medical, surgical or hospital services pursuant to paragraph (a) of Section 8 of this Act;
(viii) the name and address, if known, of each witness to the accident and of each other person upon whom the employee will rely to support his allegations;
(ix) the dates of treatment related to the accident by medical practitioners, and the names and addresses of such practitioners, including the dates of treatment related to the accident at any hospitals and the names and addresses of such hospitals, and a signed authorization permitting the employer to examine all medical records of all practitioners and hospitals named pursuant to this paragraph;
(x) a copy of a signed report by a medical practitioner, relating to the employee’s current inability to return to work because of the injuries incurred as a result of the accident or such other documents or affidavits which show that the employee is entitled to receive compensation pursuant to paragraph (b) of Section 8 of this Act or medical, surgical or hospital services pursuant to paragraph (a) of Section 8 of this Act. Such reports, documents or affidavits shall state, if possible, the history of the accident given by the employee, and describe the injury and medical diagnosis, the medical services for such injury which the employee has received and is receiving, the physical activities which the employee cannot currently perform as a result of any impairment or disability due to such injury, and the prognosis for recovery;
(xi) complete copies of any reports, records, documents and affidavits in the possession of the employee on which the employee will rely to support his allegations, provided that the employer shall pay the reasonable cost of reproduction thereof;
(xii) a list of any reports, records, documents and affidavits which the employee has demanded by subpoena and on which he intends to rely to support his allegations;
(xiii) a certification signed by the employee or his representative that the employer has received the petition with the required information 15 days before filing.
Fifteen days after receipt by the employer of the petition with the required information the employee may file said petition and required information and shall serve notice of the filing upon the employer. The employer may file a motion addressed to the sufficiency of the petition. If an objection has been filed to the sufficiency of the petition, the arbitrator shall rule on the objection within 2 working days. If such an objection is filed, the time for filing the final decision of the Commission as provided in this paragraph shall be tolled until the arbitrator has determined that the petition is sufficient.
The employer shall, within 15 days after receipt of the notice that such petition is filed, file with the Commission and serve on the employee or his representative a written response to each claim set forth in the petition, including the legal and factual basis for each disputed allegation and the following information: (i) complete copies of any reports, records, documents and affidavits in the possession of the employer on which the employer intends to rely in support of his response, (ii) a list of any reports, records, documents and affidavits which the employer has demanded by subpoena and on which the employer intends to rely in support of his response, (iii) the name and address of each witness on whom the employer will rely to support his response, and (iv) the names and addresses of any medical practitioners selected by the employer pursuant to Section 12 of this Act and the time and place of any examination scheduled to be made pursuant to such Section.
Any employer who does not timely file and serve a written response without good cause may not introduce any evidence to dispute any claim of the employee but may cross examine the employee or any witness brought by the employee and otherwise be heard.
No document or other evidence not previously identified by either party with the petition or written response, or by any other means before the hearing, may be introduced into evidence without good cause. If, at the hearing, material information is discovered which was not previously disclosed, the Arbitrator may extend the time for closing proof on the motion of a party for a reasonable period of time which may be more than 30 days. No evidence may be introduced pursuant to this paragraph as to permanent disability. No award may be entered for permanent disability pursuant to this paragraph. Either party may introduce into evidence the testimony taken by deposition of any medical practitioner.
The Commission shall adopt rules, regulations and procedures whereby the final decision of the Commission is filed not later than 90 days from the date the petition for review is filed but in no event later than 180 days from the date the petition for an emergency hearing is filed with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.
All service required pursuant to this paragraph (b-1) must be by personal service or by certified mail and with evidence of receipt. In addition for the purposes of this paragraph, all service on the employer must be at the premises where the accident occurred if the premises are owned or operated by the employer. Otherwise service must be at the employee’s principal place of employment by the employer. If service on the employer is not possible at either of the above, then service shall be at the employer’s principal place of business. After initial service in each case, service shall be made on the employer’s attorney or designated representative.
(c)(1) At a reasonable time in advance of and in connection with the hearing under Section 19(e) or 19(h), the Commission may on its own motion order an impartial physical or mental examination of a petitioner whose mental or physical condition is in issue, when in the Commission’s discretion it appears that such an examination will materially aid in the just determination of the case. The examination shall be made by a member or members of a panel of physicians chosen for their special qualifications by the Illinois State Medical Society. The Commission shall establish procedures by which a physician shall be selected from such list.
(2) Should the Commission at any time during the hearing find that compelling considerations make it advisable to have an examination and report at that time, the commission may in its discretion so order.
(3) A copy of the report of examination shall be given to the Commission and to the attorneys for the parties.
(4) Either party or the Commission may call the examining physician or physicians to testify. Any physician so called shall be subject to cross-examination.
(5) The examination shall be made, and the physician or physicians, if called, shall testify, without cost to the parties. The Commission shall determine the compensation and the pay of the physician or physicians. The compensation for this service shall not exceed the usual and customary amount for such service.
(6) The fees and payment thereof of all attorneys and physicians for services authorized by the Commission under this Act shall, upon request of either the employer or the employee or the beneficiary affected, be subject to the review and decision of the Commission.
(d) If any employee shall persist in insanitary or injurious practices which tend to either imperil or retard his recovery or shall refuse to submit to such medical, surgical, or hospital treatment as is reasonably essential to promote his recovery, the Commission may, in its discretion, reduce or suspend the compensation of any such injured employee. However, when an employer and employee so agree in writing, the foregoing provision shall not be construed to authorize the reduction or suspension of compensation of an employee who is relying in good faith, on treatment by prayer or spiritual means alone, in accordance with the tenets and practice of a recognized church or religious denomination, by a duly accredited practitioner thereof.
(e) This paragraph shall apply to all hearings before the Commission. Such hearings may be held in its office or elsewhere as the Commission may deem advisable. The taking of testimony on such hearings may be had before any member of the Commission. If a petition for review and agreed statement of facts or transcript of evidence is filed, as provided herein, the Commission shall promptly review the decision of the Arbitrator and all questions of law or fact which appear from the statement of facts or transcript of evidence.
In all cases in which the hearing before the arbitrator is held after December 18, 1989, no additional evidence shall be introduced by the parties before the Commission on review of the decision of the Arbitrator. In reviewing decisions of an arbitrator the Commission shall award such temporary compensation, permanent compensation and other payments as are due under this Act. The Commission shall file in its office its decision thereon, and shall immediately send to each party or his attorney a copy of such decision and a notification of the time when it was filed. Decisions shall be filed within 60 days after the Statement of Exceptions and Supporting Brief and Response thereto are required to be filed or oral argument whichever is later.
In the event either party requests oral argument, such argument shall be had before a panel of 3 members of the Commission (or before all available members pursuant to the determination of 7 members of the Commission that such argument be held before all available members of the Commission) pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Commission. A panel of 3 members, which shall be comprised of not more than one representative citizen of the employing class and not more than one representative citizen of the employee class, shall hear the argument; provided that if all the issues in dispute are solely the nature and extent of the permanent partial disability, if any, a majority of the panel may deny the request for such argument and such argument shall not be held; and provided further that 7 members of the Commission may determine that the argument be held before all available members of the Commission. A decision of the Commission shall be approved by a majority of Commissioners present at such hearing if any; provided, if no such hearing is held, a decision of the Commission shall be approved by a majority of a panel of 3 members of the Commission as described in this Section. The Commission shall give 10 days’ notice to the parties or their attorneys of the time and place of such taking of testimony and of such argument.
In any case the Commission in its decision may find specially upon any question or questions of law or fact which shall be submitted in writing by either party whether ultimate or otherwise; provided that on issues other than nature and extent of the disability, if any, the Commission in its decision shall find specially upon any question or questions of law or fact, whether ultimate or otherwise, which are submitted in writing by either party; provided further that not more than 5 such questions may be submitted by either party. Any party may, within 20 days after receipt of notice of the Commission’s decision, or within such further time, not exceeding 30 days, as the Commission may grant, file with the Commission either an agreed statement of the facts appearing upon the hearing, or, if such party shall so elect, a correct transcript of evidence of the additional proceedings presented before the Commission, in which report the party may embody a correct statement of such other proceedings in the case as such party may desire to have reviewed, such statement of facts or transcript of evidence to be authenticated by the signature of the parties or their attorneys, and in the event that they do not agree, then the authentication of such transcript of evidence shall be by the signature of any member of the Commission.
If a reporter does not for any reason furnish a transcript of the proceedings before the Arbitrator in any case for use on a hearing for review before the Commission, within the limitations of time as fixed in this Section, the Commission may, in its discretion, order a trial de novo before the Commission in such case upon application of either party. The applications for adjustment of claim and other documents in the nature of pleadings filed by either party, together with the decisions of the Arbitrator and of the Commission and the statement of facts or transcript of evidence hereinbefore provided for in paragraphs (b) and (c) shall be the record of the proceedings of the Commission, and shall be subject to review as hereinafter provided.
At the request of either party or on its own motion, the Commission shall set forth in writing the reasons for the decision, including findings of fact and conclusions of law separately stated. The Commission shall by rule adopt a format for written decisions for the Commission and arbitrators. The written decisions shall be concise and shall succinctly state the facts and reasons for the decision. The Commission may adopt in whole or in part, the decision of the arbitrator as the decision of the Commission. When the Commission does so adopt the decision of the arbitrator, it shall do so by order. Whenever the Commission adopts part of the arbitrator’s decision, but not all, it shall include in the order the reasons for not adopting all of the arbitrator’s decision. When a majority of a panel, after deliberation, has arrived at its decision, the decision shall be filed as provided in this Section without unnecessary delay, and without regard to the fact that a member of the panel has expressed an intention to dissent. Any member of the panel may file a dissent. Any dissent shall be filed no later than 10 days after the decision of the majority has been filed.
Decisions rendered by the Commission and dissents, if any, shall be published together by the Commission. The conclusions of law set out in such decisions shall be regarded as precedents by arbitrators for the purpose of achieving a more uniform administration of this Act.
(f) The decision of the Commission acting within its powers, according to the provisions of paragraph (e) of this Section shall, in the absence of fraud, be conclusive unless reviewed as in this paragraph hereinafter provided. However, the Arbitrator or the Commission may on his or its own motion, or on the motion of either party, correct any clerical error or errors in computation within 15 days after the date of receipt of any award by such Arbitrator or any decision on review of the Commission and shall have the power to recall the original award on arbitration or decision on review, and issue in lieu thereof such corrected award or decision. Where such correction is made the time for review herein specified shall begin to run from the date of the receipt of the corrected award or decision.
(1) Except in cases of claims against the State of Illinois other than those claims under Section 18.1, in which case the decision of the Commission shall not be subject to judicial review, the Circuit Court of the county where any of the parties defendant may be found, or if none of the parties defendant can be found in this State then the Circuit Court of the county where the accident occurred, shall by summons to the Commission have power to review all questions of law and fact presented by such record.
A proceeding for review shall be commenced within 20 days of the receipt of notice of the decision of the Commission. The summons shall be issued by the clerk of such court upon written request returnable on a designated return day, not less than 10 or more than 60 days from the date of issuance thereof, and the written request shall contain the last known address of other parties in interest and their attorneys of record who are to be served by summons. Service upon any member of the Commission or the Secretary or the Assistant Secretary thereof shall be service upon the Commission, and service upon other parties in interest and their attorneys of record shall be by summons, and such service shall be made upon the Commission and other parties in interest by mailing notices of the commencement of the proceedings and the return day of the summons to the office of the Commission and to the last known place of residence of other parties in interest or their attorney or attorneys of record. The clerk of the court issuing the summons shall on the day of issue mail notice of the commencement of the proceedings which shall be done by mailing a copy of the summons to the office of the Commission, and a copy of the summons to the other parties in interest or their attorney or attorneys of record and the clerk of the court shall make certificate that he has so sent said notices in pursuance of this Section, which shall be evidence of service on the Commission and other parties in interest.
The Commission shall not be required to certify the record of their proceedings to the Circuit Court, unless the party commencing the proceedings for review in the Circuit Court as above provided, shall file with the Commission notice of intent to file for review in Circuit Court. It shall be the duty of the Commission upon such filing of notice of intent to file for review in the Circuit Court to prepare a true and correct copy of such testimony and a true and correct copy of all other matters contained in such record and certified to by the Secretary or Assistant Secretary thereof. The changes made to this subdivision (f)(1) by this amendatory Act of the 98th General Assembly apply to any Commission decision entered after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 98th General Assembly.
No request for a summons may be filed and no summons shall issue unless the party seeking to review the decision of the Commission shall exhibit to the clerk of the Circuit Court proof of filing with the Commission of the notice of the intent to file for review in the Circuit Court or an affidavit of the attorney setting forth that notice of intent to file for review in the Circuit Court has been given in writing to the Secretary or Assistant Secretary of the Commission.
(2) No such summons shall issue unless the one against whom the Commission shall have rendered an award for the payment of money shall upon the filing of his written request for such summons file with the clerk of the court a bond conditioned that if he shall not successfully prosecute the review, he will pay the award and the costs of the proceedings in the courts. The amount of the bond shall be fixed by any member of the Commission and the surety or sureties of the bond shall be approved by the clerk of the court. The acceptance of the bond by the clerk of the court shall constitute evidence of his approval of the bond.
Every county, city, town, township, incorporated village, school district, body politic or municipal corporation against whom the Commission shall have rendered an award for the payment of money shall not be required to file a bond to secure the payment of the award and the costs of the proceedings in the court to authorize the court to issue such summons.
The court may confirm or set aside the decision of the Commission. If the decision is set aside and the facts found in the proceedings before the Commission are sufficient, the court may enter such decision as is justified by law, or may remand the cause to the Commission for further proceedings and may state the questions requiring further hearing, and give such other instructions as may be proper. Appeals shall be taken to the Appellate Court in accordance with Supreme Court Rules 22(g) and 303. Appeals shall be taken from the Appellate Court to the Supreme Court in accordance with Supreme Court Rule 315.
It shall be the duty of the clerk of any court rendering a decision affecting or affirming an award of the Commission to promptly furnish the Commission with a copy of such decision, without charge.
The decision of a majority of the members of the panel of the Commission, shall be considered the decision of the Commission.
(g) Except in the case of a claim against the State of Illinois, either party may present a certified copy of the award of the Arbitrator, or a certified copy of the decision of the Commission when the same has become final, when no proceedings for review are pending, providing for the payment of compensation according to this Act, to the Circuit Court of the county in which such accident occurred or either of the parties are residents, whereupon the court shall enter a judgment in accordance therewith. In a case where the employer refuses to pay compensation according to such final award or such final decision upon which such judgment is entered the court shall in entering judgment thereon, tax as costs against him the reasonable costs and attorney fees in the arbitration proceedings and in the court entering the judgment for the person in whose favor the judgment is entered, which judgment and costs taxed as therein provided shall, until and unless set aside, have the same effect as though duly entered in an action duly tried and determined by the court, and shall with like effect, be entered and docketed. The Circuit Court shall have power at any time upon application to make any such judgment conform to any modification required by any subsequent decision of the Supreme Court upon appeal, or as the result of any subsequent proceedings for review, as provided in this Act.
Judgment shall not be entered until 15 days’ notice of the time and place of the application for the entry of judgment shall be served upon the employer by filing such notice with the Commission, which Commission shall, in case it has on file the address of the employer or the name and address of its agent upon whom notices may be served, immediately send a copy of the notice to the employer or such designated agent.
(h) An agreement or award under this Act providing for compensation in installments, may at any time within 18 months after such agreement or award be reviewed by the Commission at the request of either the employer or the employee, on the ground that the disability of the employee has subsequently recurred, increased, diminished or ended.
However, as to accidents occurring subsequent to July 1, 1955, which are covered by any agreement or award under this Act providing for compensation in installments made as a result of such accident, such agreement or award may at any time within 30 months, or 60 months in the case of an award under Section 8(d)1, after such agreement or award be reviewed by the Commission at the request of either the employer or the employee on the ground that the disability of the employee has subsequently recurred, increased, diminished or ended.
On such review, compensation payments may be re-established, increased, diminished or ended. The Commission shall give 15 days’ notice to the parties of the hearing for review. Any employee, upon any petition for such review being filed by the employer, shall be entitled to one day’s notice for each 100 miles necessary to be traveled by him in attending the hearing of the Commission upon the petition, and 3 days in addition thereto. Such employee shall, at the discretion of the Commission, also be entitled to 5 cents per mile necessarily traveled by him within the State of Illinois in attending such hearing, not to exceed a distance of 300 miles, to be taxed by the Commission as costs and deposited with the petition of the employer.
When compensation which is payable in accordance with an award or settlement contract approved by the Commission, is ordered paid in a lump sum by the Commission, no review shall be had as in this paragraph mentioned.
(i) Each party, upon taking any proceedings or steps whatsoever before any Arbitrator, Commission or court, shall file with the Commission his address, or the name and address of any agent upon whom all notices to be given to such party shall be served, either personally or by registered mail, addressed to such party or agent at the last address so filed with the Commission. In the event such party has not filed his address, or the name and address of an agent as above provided, service of any notice may be had by filing such notice with the Commission.
(j) Whenever in any proceeding testimony has been taken or a final decision has been rendered and after the taking of such testimony or after such decision has become final, the injured employee dies, then in any subsequent proceedings brought by the personal representative or beneficiaries of the deceased employee, such testimony in the former proceeding may be introduced with the same force and effect as though the witness having so testified were present in person in such subsequent proceedings and such final decision, if any, shall be taken as final adjudication of any of the issues which are the same in both proceedings.
(k) In case where there has been any unreasonable or vexatious delay of payment or intentional underpayment of compensation, or proceedings have been instituted or carried on by the one liable to pay the compensation, which do not present a real controversy, but are merely frivolous or for delay, then the Commission may award compensation additional to that otherwise payable under this Act equal to 50% of the amount payable at the time of such award. Failure to pay compensation in accordance with the provisions of Section 8, paragraph (b) of this Act, shall be considered unreasonable delay.
When determining whether this subsection (k) shall apply, the Commission shall consider whether an Arbitrator has determined that the claim is not compensable or whether the employer has made payments under Section 8(j).
(l) If the employee has made written demand for payment of benefits under Section 8(a) or Section 8(b), the employer shall have 14 days after receipt of the demand to set forth in writing the reason for the delay. In the case of demand for payment of medical benefits under Section 8(a), the time for the employer to respond shall not commence until the expiration of the allotted 30 days specified under Section 8.2(d). In case the employer or his or her insurance carrier shall without good and just cause fail, neglect, refuse, or unreasonably delay the payment of benefits under Section 8(a) or Section 8(b), the Arbitrator or the Commission shall allow to the employee additional compensation in the sum of $30 per day for each day that the benefits under Section 8(a) or Section 8(b) have been so withheld or refused, not to exceed $10,000. A delay in payment of 14 days or more shall create a rebuttable presumption of unreasonable delay.
(m) If the commission finds that an accidental injury was directly and proximately caused by the employer’s wilful violation of a health and safety standard under the Health and Safety Act in force at the time of the accident, the arbitrator or the Commission shall allow to the injured employee or his dependents, as the case may be, additional compensation equal to 25% of the amount which otherwise would be payable under the provisions of this Act exclusive of this paragraph. The additional compensation herein provided shall be allowed by an appropriate increase in the applicable weekly compensation rate.
(n) After June 30, 1984, decisions of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission reviewing an award of an arbitrator of the Commission shall draw interest at a rate equal to the yield on indebtedness issued by the United States Government with a 26-week maturity next previously auctioned on the day on which the decision is filed. Said rate of interest shall be set forth in the Arbitrator’s Decision. Interest shall be drawn from the date of the arbitrator’s award on all accrued compensation due the employee through the day prior to the date of payments. However, when an employee appeals an award of an Arbitrator or the Commission, and the appeal results in no change or a decrease in the award, interest shall not further accrue from the date of such appeal.
The employer or his insurance carrier may tender the payments due under the award to stop the further accrual of interest on such award notwithstanding the prosecution by either party of review, certiorari, appeal to the Supreme Court or other steps to reverse, vacate or modify the award.
(o) By the 15th day of each month each insurer providing coverage for losses under this Act shall notify each insured employer of any compensable claim incurred during the preceding month and the amounts paid or reserved on the claim including a summary of the claim and a brief statement of the reasons for compensability. A cumulative report of all claims incurred during a calendar year or continued from the previous year shall be furnished to the insured employer by the insurer within 30 days after the end of that calendar year.
The insured employer may challenge, in proceeding before the Commission, payments made by the insurer without arbitration and payments made after a case is determined to be noncompensable. If the Commission finds that the case was not compensable, the insurer shall purge its records as to that employer of any loss or expense associated with the claim, reimburse the employer for attorneys’ fees arising from the challenge and for any payment required of the employer to the Rate Adjustment Fund or the Second Injury Fund, and may not reflect the loss or expense for rate making purposes. The employee shall not be required to refund the challenged payment. The decision of the Commission may be reviewed in the same manner as in arbitrated cases. No challenge may be initiated under this paragraph more than 3 years after the payment is made. An employer may waive the right of challenge under this paragraph on a case by case basis.
(p) After filing an application for adjustment of claim but prior to the hearing on arbitration the parties may voluntarily agree to submit such application for adjustment of claim for decision by an arbitrator under this subsection (p) where such application for adjustment of claim raises only a dispute over temporary total disability, permanent partial disability or medical expenses. Such agreement shall be in writing in such form as provided by the Commission. Applications for adjustment of claim submitted for decision by an arbitrator under this subsection (p) shall proceed according to rule as established by the Commission. The Commission shall promulgate rules including, but not limited to, rules to ensure that the parties are adequately informed of their rights under this subsection (p) and of the voluntary nature of proceedings under this subsection (p). The findings of fact made by an arbitrator acting within his or her powers under this subsection (p) in the absence of fraud shall be conclusive. However, the arbitrator may on his own motion, or the motion of either party, correct any clerical errors or errors in computation within 15 days after the date of receipt of such award of the arbitrator and shall have the power to recall the original award on arbitration, and issue in lieu thereof such corrected award. The decision of the arbitrator under this subsection (p) shall be considered the decision of the Commission and proceedings for review of questions of law arising from the decision may be commenced by either party pursuant to subsection (f) of Section 19. The Advisory Board established under Section 13.1 shall compile a list of certified Commission arbitrators, each of whom shall be approved by at least 7 members of the Advisory Board. The chairman shall select 5 persons from such list to serve as arbitrators under this subsection (p). By agreement, the parties shall select one arbitrator from among the 5 persons selected by the chairman except that if the parties do not agree on an arbitrator from among the 5 persons, the parties may, by agreement, select an arbitrator of the American Arbitration Association, whose fee shall be paid by the State in accordance with rules promulgated by the Commission. Arbitration under this subsection (p) shall be voluntary.
(Source: P.A. 97-18, eff. 6-28-11; 98-40, eff. 6-28-13.)
(820 ILCS 305/19.1) (from Ch. 48, par. 138.19a)
Sec. 19.1. The time within which any act is required to be performed under any of the provisions of this Act shall be computed by excluding the first day and including the last, unless the last day is Saturday, Sunday or is a holiday as defined or fixed in any statute now or hereafter in force in this State, and then such days shall also be excluded. If the day succeeding such holiday is also a holiday then such succeeding day shall also be excluded.
(Source: Laws 1959, p. 1733.)
(820 ILCS 305/19a) (from Ch. 48, par. 138.19b)
Sec. 19a. Money received by the Commission pursuant to subsection (f) of Section 19 of this Act shall be paid into a trust fund outside the State Treasury and shall be held in such fund until completion of the record for which the payment was made. The Secretary of the Commission shall be ex-officio custodian of such trust fund which shall be used only for the purpose specified in this section. Upon completion of the record the Secretary shall pay the amount so held to the person entitled thereto for preparation of the record. Within 60 days after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 98th General Assembly, the Secretary of the Commission shall transfer all remaining funds to the Injured Workers’ Benefit Fund for the purpose of paying claims from injured employees who have received a final award for benefits from the Commission against the employer in Fiscal Year 2013.
(Source: P.A. 98-40, eff. 6-28-13.)