Roadmap for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Illinois
Workers’ compensation is an insurance plan set up under Illinois law to provide benefits for Illinois workers who have been injured in the course of their employment. The basic steps to filing a claim are seeking medical help, notifying the employer of the injury, and filing an application with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. Failing to file a claim properly or missing a deadline may result in a full or partial loss of compensation for an injury.
Get Medical Help
The first thing that an employee should do when injured on the job is seek the necessary medical attention. Making sure that the employee’s health is stable is naturally the first priority. A judge in a recent Illinois case ruled that employers were not allowed to mandate that employees report injuries to them before seeking help. Additionally, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act allows employees their choice of doctor for treatment.
Notify Your Employer
Employees should also be aware that their medical records and treatment may end up becoming important evidence in the case. Consequently, it is a good idea to maintain organized, complete records of the medical visits and treatments related to the on-the-job injury. Moreover, it is vital that an employee provide an accurate history to her physician and make it clear that the injury occurred while working.
After obtaining the necessary immediate medical treatment, the employee’s next step is to notify their employer of the injury. Illinois law allows workers to notify employers either in writing or orally. Naturally, things put in writing are easier to prove, so that is the safest choice.
Importantly, the law places a strict time limit on notifying an employer of an injury. The employee must notify the employer of the injury within 45 days. Failure to do so will likely result in a loss of benefits.
File an Application for Adjustment of Claim
Once the employee has notified the employer, the next step is actually filing the claim. This requires an employee to file a form known as an “Application for Adjustment of Claim,” which is available on the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission website. The form is a one-page document that notifies the Commission of the injury and provides them with essential information like the employee involved in the injury and how the accident happened. The employee must then send a copy of the form to their employer and three more to the Workers’ Compensation Commission. The employee should also keep a copy of the form.
The form also has an attached “Proof of Service” that must be filled out. That is a separate document affirming that copies of the Application Form were sent to the employer as well as the Commission.
The workers’ compensation process can be complex. You do not have to go through it alone. Contact an experienced St. Charles workers’ compensation attorney today for help filing your claim. The professionals at Woodruff Johnson & Evans are here to make sure that you receive the fair compensation that you are entitled to.