Injured Workers’ Benefit Fund
The Injured Workers’ Benefit Fund: when your employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance
Illinois state law requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance in order to protect any employee who suffers an injury on the job. But what happens if your employer doesn’t carry the required insurance?
If my employer doesn’t have work comp insurance, does that mean I don’t have a claim?
If you were injured at work, you have a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, regardless of whether or not your employer has the requisite insurance. However, the process becomes far more complicated when your employer does not have work comp insurance.
Who pays for my benefits?
Your employer is responsible for paying the benefits, but if your employer fails to do so, then your benefits may be paid through the Injured Workers’ Benefit Fund. The Fund is set up by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act to provide payment for injured employees’ benefits when their employers fail to obtain work comp insurance.
When will the Fund begin issuing benefits?
Unfortunately, in order to secure benefits from the Fund, you must proceed to trial and have benefits awarded by the arbitrator. There are several procedural requirements that must be met in order to proceed to trial, so you must seek the assistance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to guide you through the process.
Can I still seek treatment?
Any employee injured on the job should seek medical treatment immediately. However, if your employer doesn’t have insurance, you may need to put your medical treatment through your own insurance for the time being. If the arbitrator awards medical benefits, the Fund would then issue payment to you to cover the medical bills.
What about my wages while I am off work due to my injury?
If the arbitrator awards wages for the time you are off work for your injury, the Fund will pay you these benefits as well. Be sure to keep all of your work status notes from your doctor to show your entitlement to these wages.
What happens to my employer for not having work comp insurance?
The state will assess fines and penalties against your employer for failure to comply with the law. These fines are paid into the Fund in order to provide benefits for other employees in your same situation in the future.
When will my benefits be paid?
At the end of each year, the Fund issues payment for any benefits awarded from July of the prior year through June of that year. Benefits from the Fund are paid on a pro rata basis, so if more benefits are awarded than is available in the Fund, you may only receive a percentage of what you were awarded.
Workers’ compensation claims in general are tricky to navigate through, but cases involving the Injured Workers’ Benefit Fund are far more complex. In order to ensure a successful claim involving the Fund, you must have an experienced workers’ compensation attorney familiar with the process assisting you to ensure all the requirements are met. Contact the attorneys at Woodruff Johnson & Evans at (866) 400-4450 to discuss your case and how we will make sure you are receiving from the Injured Workers’ Benefit Fund all the benefits to which you are entitled. To learn more about workers’ compensation, visit our Guide to Workers Compensation page.
View Lynn Taylor’s vlog on Youtube: Injured Workers’ Benefit Fund: When your employer doesn’t have Workers’ Compensation Insurance.