Open Accessibility Menu

No Need to Overhaul Illinois Workers’ Compensation Laws

Casey Woodruff

undefinedSince Governor Bruce Rauner entered office, he’s been pushing for amendments to Illinois’ Workers’ Compensation Act. In large part, those amendments would place additional burdens on employees who have suffered injuries on the job. However, according to a recent article in the Bloomington Pantagraph, a new report from the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) “shows that changes enacted in 2011 are saving the state money.” Will the report have an effect on legislators who are pushing to change the current workers’ compensation laws?

Notable Drop in Benefits Payments

Based on the details contained in the IWCC report, benefit payments have dropped substantially since those 2011 changes to Illinois workers’ compensation laws. Indeed, benefit payments have declined by 19 percent, which is “the largest decrease in the nation.” In addition, while Illinois used to have one of the highest average medical payments per workers’ compensation case, that number has also dropped by 16 percent between 2010 and 2012. Now, Illinois’ average medical payment for each workers’ compensation case is “near the median.”

But will the salient savings have an impact on Rauner’s plans to change the system? As the article points out, “Rauner wants to increase the standards workers must meet to prove their injury occurred at the workplace, reduce reimbursement rates for medical providers who treat workers, and adjust rules for workers who are injured while traveling to their job.” An op-ed in the Champaign News-Gazette emphasized that such amendments to the current laws could be “putting the most vulnerable citizens of our state at risk.”

Why would Rauner and others seek to amend workers’ compensation laws in favor of employers? The effort is largely a business-friendly one, or a potential method of boosting business. But does our state need to do this at the expense of injured workers?

More Workers’ Compensation Policies Sold in Illinois

Illinois has faced significant financial hardship, but has the insurance industry really been affected? According to the article in the Champaign News-Gazette and the recent IWCC report, “Illinois has more insurers selling workers’ comp policies than any other state in the nation.” In fact, over the last 10 years, “the number of insurance companies writing workers’ comp policies in Illinois has jumped 13 percent.”

Businesses are also being created quickly in Illinois. Indeed, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ranked our state “second among states where businesses are being created the fastest. A 2015 CNBC poll that ranks “America’s top states for business” also placed Illinois at 19th. If that’s the case, weren’t the 2011 business-friendly changes to workers’ compensation law in our state sufficient?

Some lawmakers argue that the 2011 overhaul was supposed to bring an estimated $500 million in savings to Illinois businesses, and that such a number hasn’t yet been seen. However, employee advocates continue to voice concerns about cutting benefits and medical reimbursements for workplace injuries.

Contact a Chicago Work Injury Attorney

If you or someone you love suffered an injury on the job, it’s important to contact an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible. You will need to take steps in order to be eligible for benefits, and a dedicated employee rights advocate can help to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. An attorney at Woodruff Johnson & Evans can answer your questions today.

Categories:
  • "I had an awesome experience with Dexter Evans!"

    "I was recently injured in an auto accident and Dexter Evans handled my case. He is the best. Awesome experience. Definitely would recommend to anyone!"

  • "They always keep in touch & are quick to respond."

    "I want to thank attorney Jon Walker for all his work on my worker's comp case. He explains everything in detail to you so you understand. Always kept in touch, you didn't have ..."

  • "I will definitely recommend them!"

    "I was injured in an auto accident and Dexter Evans handled my case. He was awesome. I will definitely recommend them to friends and family."

  • "I was very happy with the outcome of my case!"

    "A friend referred me to Woodruff Johnson & Evans. Attorney Jay Johnson explained the process so that I understood what was going on with my case. He was responsive to my ..."

  • "I was very satisfied with the results!"

    "I was referred to Woodruff Johnson & Evans by a friend who had used them in the past. Everyone I had contact with was so kind and polite. My lawyer, Jay Johnson, explained the ..."

  • "Woodruff Johnson & Evans helped settled my case when the insurance company refused to pay my medical bill!"

    "I consulted the lawyers from Woodruff Johnson & Evans and they settled my case when the insurance company refused to pay my medical bill! I think I will recommend people to ..."

  • "Dexter Evans was incredible at handling my auto-accident case & provided constant communication about any questions or concerns I had!"

    "Dexter (DJ) Evans was incredible at handling my auto-accident case and provided constant communication about any questions or concerns I had. He addressed every concern I had ..."

  • "Steven was helpful in preparing me for a deposition and was very instrumental in gathering details about the location of my slip and fall!"

    "Steven was helpful in preparing me for a deposition and was very instrumental in gathering details about the location of my slip and fall. He negotiated what I thought was a ..."

View All Testimonials

Get Your Free Consultation

  • Please enter your First Name.
  • Please enter your Last Name.
  • This isn't a valid phone number.
    Please enter your phone number.
    You entered an invalid number.
  • This isn't a valid email address.
    Please enter your email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.