Workers’ comp in general
Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that employers purchase to protect their employees in the event of workplace incident or injury. Workers’ compensation provides employees who were injured at work or contract a disease as a result of their work with wage replacement and medical benefits. Workers may also receive benefits to cover mileage for travel to doctor appointments, vocational rehabilitation, survivors benefits, or funeral expenses.
Want to learn more about how Workers’ compensation benefits work? Check out our recent post “Workers Compensation Benefits Explained.”
Workers’ comp in Illinois
Illinois is an NCCI state, meaning that the state’s insurance department has designated the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) as the licensed statistical and ratings organization. The NCCI determines how premiums are calculated and employers are classified, among other things, such as ruling on appeals and disputes.
Illinois requires nearly all employers to obtain Workers compensation insurance, and so has a program called the Assigned Risk Plan (of Assigned Risk Pool). Rates in this pool are higher than on the voluntary market, have no premium discount, and are not eligible for schedule credits; however, the program ensures that any employers (even those in extremely hazardous industries that insurance companies do not want to insure) can obtain insurance.
If you’re injured at work and require time off, you can receive temporary total disability benefits. In Illinois, these benefits are paid to you until you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (per your doctor). These benefits amount to two-thirds of your average weekly wage, up to a maximum of 1,440.60 per week (as of July 2017). If your doctor determines that you’ve sustained a permanent and total disability–meaning that you cannot work in any capacity ever again–you’ll receive the temporary total disability rate for the duration of your life. If you’ve sustained a permanent partial disability, you may receive certain benefits, depending on the type of injury:
- Wage differential–for when you suffer a loss of earnings due to having to take a lower-paying position, due to your disability
- Disfigurement–benefits of up to 60 percent of your average weekly wage for up to 162 weeks for disfigurement of visible body parts (face, head, neck, chest, arms, etc.)
- Scheduled awards–benefits of 60 percent of your average weekly wage for a number of weeks determined by state schedule, for scheduled body parts, including eyes, arms, legs, hands, feet, and ears.
- Nonscheduled awards–benefits of 60 percent of your average weekly wage for a portion of 500 weeks, based on your whole-body disability rating.
Have you been injured at work? If you’re concerned about your workers’ compensation claim, and you’d like to consider your legal options, The Epstein Law Firm can help. Contact us to set up your free initial consultation to discuss your claim.