Articles Posted in Workers Compensation

If you work remotely, you may be covered by workers’ compensation, even though your job duties don’t take you onto your employer’s premises. However, there are a number of factors that could impact your claim should you be injured on the job while working from home.

Remote Employee Vs. Independent Contractor

First of all, it’s important to distinguish whether you’re actually an employee. If you’re a freelancer or independent contractor, then you don’t qualify for workers’ compensation coverage.

Under Illinois law, the vast majority of employers must provide workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. As such, employers in the state can’t usually “opt out” of providing coverage or carrying workers’ comp insurance, though there may be some cases where an employer may elect not to provide coverage.

Industries that Must Provide Workers’ Compensation

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act allows employers to provide workers’ compensation coverage in exchange for being free from liability for workplace accidents (meaning employees usually can’t sue them for injuries sustained on the job). In some industries, this coverage is mandatory. The Workers’ Compensation Act is considered to automatically apply to industries involving:

Those who have become exposed to the novel coronavirus while on the job may be entitled to workers’ compensation, particularly when it impacts their ability to work and warrants medical treatment. However, it begs the question of how much these claims are actually worth. If your claim settles, how much would the payout be?

The simple answer is that it’s a bit early to tell just yet.

Settlements on Coronavirus Claims Are Uncertain

Workplace accidents can sometimes be fatal, but even if the employer was at fault, a lawsuit may not be possible due to the way workers’ compensation law works. In Illinois, workers (or in this case, their families) cannot sue the employer for negligence in these cases. However, there may be a possibility for a wrongful death lawsuit if other parties were involved in the injury.

The Workers’ Compensation Trade-off

Illinois workers’ compensation law is something of a trade-off. Employees cannot sue their employer for their injuries (except in certain rare cases), and employers are obligated to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation benefits are provided regardless of fault, which means that while the employer may not necessarily be directly liable for a workplace injury, they are still responsible for covering the cost of those injuries.

Some of the most common questions Illinois residents have when it comes to worker’s compensation—as well as their answers—include those below.

What Injuries Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?

Workers’ compensation is designed to cover work-related injuries. As such, it pays for injuries or serious illnesses contracted in the course of your work duties.

Illinois workers’ compensation law prevents employees from suing their employers in the event of a workplace injury, including illnesses contracted on the job.

However, employees may be able to recover benefits if they become ill as a result of performing workplace duties.

Workers’ Compensation and Employer Liability

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) handles workers’ comp claim denials, typically through an arbitrator. Those who appeal the arbitrator’s decision must appeal to the IWCC directly. After the IWCC, the only option is to go to court.

The process can be difficult, but it may be possible in some situations. Here, we’ll discuss the appeals process and how to best appeal an IWCC decision.

The Appeals Process

A work injury may lead to a long-term disability, in some cases permanently limiting one’s ability to work. In Illinois, disability benefits are available under workers’ compensation, though there is one other option available as well—Social Security disability insurance (SSDI). These two types of benefits work in different ways, and it’s important to know which will benefit you most in the event of a job-related injury.

Workers’ Compensation

The ultimate purpose of workers’ compensation is to cover your expenses in the event of a work-related injury. In Illinois, that typically means medical expenses and related costs, though it can cover lost wages, job rehabilitation, and long-term disability, especially if an injury leaves you permanently crippled.

If you have been injured at work, you may decide to settle your claim instead of receiving ongoing workers’ compensation benefits. Settling can impact how much compensation you’d receive, and there are various factors that go into calculating the amount.

Expenses Covered By Workers’ Comp

One of the factors involved in calculating a workers’ compensation settlement is the total amount of benefits you’d be eligible to receive. In Illinois, workers’ comp is designed to cover the following:

The vast majority of workers’ compensation claims are resolved through settlements. A workers’ comp settlement is an agreement between you and the other party (in this case your employer’s insurance company) that you’ll stop pursuing your claim in return for a specific sum of money.

If you’re worried that these settlements are public record, the answer is a bit complex. In the state of Illinois, they are technically public information, but they aren’t easily accessible.

Illinois Workers’ Comp Settlements Are Public Information

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