COVID-19 Update: How We Are Serving and Protecting Our Clients

Medical Benefits

Chicago Lawyers for Health Care Workers’ Medical Benefits

Health care workers in Illinois and around the country have faced tremendous pressure and overwork during the pandemic. In addition to facing risks from COVID-19 itself, they face the stress of providing professional care while the facilities in which they work are short-staffed. The risk of injuries goes up when there are an insufficient number of health care workers to take care of patients. If you are a health care worker who suffers a job-related injury or illness in Illinois, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Among these benefits are medical benefits. Medical benefits can prove crucial for a health care worker who is injured or made sick on the job, whether because of COVID or another circumstance. You should call the seasoned Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, who have more than 60 years of experience if you need to make a claim.

Medical Benefits

Chicago health care workers injured or made sick on the job are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits from their employers’ insurers. Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, one of the benefits our attorneys can pursue on your behalf are medical benefits. Injured employees can receive any medical care reasonably required to cure or relieve an employee of the effects of an injury.

Health care costs that may be paid as medical benefits can include first aid, ER visits, hospital bills, doctor’s visits, transport, prescriptions, treatments, medical devices, and institutional care. For example, if you are overworked during the pandemic and slip and fall and require rehabilitation and physical therapy for a complex fracture, you may be able to recover the costs of medical treatment for the fracture, along with rehabilitation.

Employees obtaining benefits may select their doctor, hospital, and treatment. In most cases, if your employer is part of a Preferred Provider Program, you can make two choices of doctor; any specialist to whom you were referred by the doctor you chose will be treated as part of your initial selection.

Occupational Disease

Under Illinois law, when a Chicago worker is in the course and scope of employment and contracts a harmful illness, he may have a viable claim under the Occupational Disease Act. Accordingly, COVID-19 may be compensated as an occupational disease, which is a disease arising out of and in the course of employment or that has become aggravated and is disabling due to the exposure while on the job. When a health care worker experiences an aggravation of a preexisting condition, such as an aggravation of long COVID or another illness, the aggravation must arise out of a risk specific to the employment, not common to the general public, in order to be compensable.

When you first visit a provider for your work-related injury or illness, you should let him or her know that you believe the condition is work-related. This notification lets your provider know it should bill your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer rather than you and seek the proper pre-authorization for treatment.

Independent Medical Exams in Chicago

If your doctor seeks pre-authorization for medical care the insurer believes is expensive, such as surgery, you may be asked to undergo an independent medical exam. In spite of the name, these exams are typically neither independent nor objective. The doctor the insurer selects is likely to have a reputation for recommending conservative treatments and siding with employers when there are disputes about what type of medical care is reasonably necessary. However, you are required to go to an independent medical exam when one is ordered. You should be aware that you may be observed coming up to the doctor’s office, in addition to being observed while in the doctors’ office and afterwards when you leave. The examiner and his or her staff may be looking for signs you’re malingering or claiming to be more injured than you are.  

Hire a Chicago Health Care Workers Lawyer

As a health care worker injured on the job, you may encounter resistance to your workers’ compensation claim for medical benefits. If you are injured, you should retain a law firm with to represent you. Our Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys represent health care workers in Quincy, Rockford, Champaign, and Aurora, as well as Kane, Cook, Sangamon, Winnebago, and Adams Counties. Call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.