Overpayments After an Airline Work Injury

Chicago Lawyers for Employees Hurt on the Job

Airline workers may suffer serious or disabling injuries while on the job. If you are injured in the course and scope of your job with an airline, Illinois law gives you a way to recover compensation and benefits by filing a workers’ compensation claim. Benefits can include medical benefits, disability benefits, and vocational rehabilitation benefits. Unfortunately, in some instances overpayments occur. You have certain rights in the event of an overpayment. The Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca can help you navigate issues related to overpayments after an airline work injury.

Overpayments After an Airline Work Injury

Employees are supposed to take many steps to make sure that their claim for benefits is successful. They need to show that they had an employment relationship at the time of the accident through careful evidence and documentation. Workers also need to show that their disability or medical condition was triggered by their job. Employees may be able to get medical benefits, disability benefits, and vocational rehabilitation benefits. They may be able to get these benefits paid each week, or they may recover their payments in one lump sum.

An employer or its workers’ compensation insurer can allege that overpayments have been made. This means that the airline or its insurer can claim an overpayment where it believes it has made benefit payments that exceeded their legal obligation. Under Illinois law, the airline should get credits if they overpay you. This means that the airline won’t need to make further payments until it gets repaid through future payments owed.

Contesting a Claim of Overpayment

You may be able to contest the claim of an overpayment. Usually, an audit must take place. In the audit, it can be decided whether a claim was overpaid. Sometimes it turns out that there was outstanding money owed to the worker. However, if the audit uncovers an overpayment by the insurer, an administrative law judge will likely put forward a weekly amount to be deducted from future payments, and those payments are credited to the employer.

There are situations in which you might be asked by an insurer to reimburse the money from overpayments by writing a personal check. However, it is wiser to retain an attorney to try to negotiate the overpayment through a reduction of future payments rather than try to reimburse through a personal check.

An employer can wind up with a credit in its favor where it pays medical bills, but some part of a claim is disputed. An employer may argue that some or all of your medical treatment was not reasonable or necessary, even though it has accepted a claim or is investigating your claim. The insurer may pay the medical bills according to the policy or even make disability benefit payments. Any of these can give rise to a possible credit for what was paid should it turn out that the insurer overpaid on a claim where it determines its policy requires less to be paid.

Similarly, sometimes employers make indemnity payments while a claim is still being investigated. The payments might be based on an estimate that was made prior to having a precise calculation of average weekly wage, temporary total disability, or permanent partial disability completed. An employer can pay benefits while an investigation of a claim is occurring, only for the investigation to later result in a determination that the claim wasn’t compensable to begin with. Indemnity payments are made on compensable claims. When an employer pays indemnity at the right rate but the injured employee goes back to work and still gets disability benefits, the insurer may not receive notice right away and so may continue to pay benefits.

Retain a Seasoned Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Chicago

Airline work injuries can be serious and may result in significant disability. However, there are situations in which overpayments are made after an airline work injury in Chicago, and you can retain a lawyer if this happens in your case. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, we represent workers in Champaign, Rockford, Quincy, and Aurora, as well as Cook, Sangamon, Adams, Winnebago, and Kane Counties. We look closely at our clients’ cases to determine whether there are other forms of relief available. Contact us at 800-444-1525 or at 312-263-6330 or by completing our online form.