Benefits Under the Workers' Compensation Act
As a no-fault system of benefits, workers’ compensation is provided to employees who suffer job-related injuries and illnesses. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act sets forth the rights and obligations of employees as well as employers. The Act provides for coverage for injuries stemming from one-time accidents as well as occupational diseases. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, our Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys only represent injured employees rather than employers. People who are hired, are injured, or work within the state are covered by the Act, and they can rely on the resources and tenacity of our firm to help them pursue maximum benefits.Pursuing Maximum Benefits Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act
The Workers’ Compensation Act states that accidents “arising out of and in the course of employment” are covered by the Act. Workers who suffer injuries and illnesses resulting from their work are eligible for these benefits. The Act sets forth benefit categories, including medical care, temporary total disability, and permanent partial disability benefits, as well as death benefits.
The employer is responsible for paying for workers’ compensation benefits, and most employers purchase workers’ compensation insurance. The insurance company pays the benefits to the injured employee on behalf of the employer. Neither the insurance premium nor the benefit may be charged to the injured employee.
Medical care that is reasonably necessary to relieve or cure the employee’s suffering must be paid by the employer. First aid, emergency care, surgery, and physical therapy may be included. Pharmaceuticals and prescribed medical appliances, as well as doctor visits, are to be paid by the medical benefits coverage provided by the Act.
Temporary total disability benefits refer to the benefits that injured employees receive during a period in which they cannot return to work or have been cleared to perform light-duty work but cannot be accommodated by the employer. These benefits are to be paid to the employee until the employee returns to work or has reached maximum medical improvement.
Benefits provided for injured employees while they are healing but working light duty, part-time, or full-time are called temporary partial disability benefits. An employee receiving temporary partial disability receives fewer earnings than pre-employment, and for this reason, the employer pays temporary partial disability benefits until they return to their regular job or reach maximum medical improvement.
Vocational rehabilitation is a benefit provided by the Act, which includes job counseling, vocational retraining, and supervised job search programs. When an employee cannot return to their pre-injury job, the employer is required to pay for the instruction, training, and treatment necessary for the employee’s physical and mental health. This includes maintenance costs and incidentals.
When job-related injuries result in a permanent physical loss, the employer pays permanent partial disability benefits. Permanent partial disability is the complete or partial loss of a body part, the loss of use of a body part, or the loss of use of the entire body. The law does not specifically define “loss of use.” Generally, these benefits cover employees who are unable to perform tasks that they were capable of performing before their injury.
Permanent total disability covers the complete and permanent loss of both hands, both feet, both legs, or any two such parts (such as one leg and one arm), as well as a complete disability that leaves an employee permanently unable to perform work for which there is a reasonably stable employment market. If an employee is rendered permanently unable to work and then returns to work, the employer may petition for a termination or modification of these permanent total disability benefits.
Finally, the Act provides for death and survivor benefits. These benefits are two-thirds of the employee's gross average weekly wage during the year before the injury. A spouse and any children under the age of 18 are the primary beneficiaries of survivor’s benefits, but if they do not exist, benefits may be paid to totally dependent parents or those who were 50% or more dependent on the employee at the time of their death.Discuss Your Case with a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Chicago
At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, we bring decades of experience to our legal practice, advocating for injured workers pursuing benefits under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. If you or a loved one has suffered an accident or illness on the job, our Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers can help you file and pursue a claim for benefits. We also have helped individuals and families who need a job injury attorney in Springfield, Champaign, Aurora, Rockford, Quincy, and other areas of Kane, Champaign, Winnebago, Adams, and Cook Counties. Contact us for a free consultation through our online form or by calling (800) 444-1525.