Determining Your Eligibility for Workers’ Compensation in Illinois

There is always some form of risk associated with a job, regardless of whether you work in a factory or in an office within Peoria County. When an injury is related to that job, you may be eligible for workers' compensation but it can be difficult to determine whether workers' comp applies. By taking the time to understand qualifying factors, you can strengthen your claim for benefits.

Not All Workers Are Covered

Generally, most workers in Illinois are covered by the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act. However, according to the Act, not all workers in the state are covered. The legislation lists the following positions under the definition of employee:

  • Deputy sheriffs
  • People who work on behalf of the University of Illinois
  • Municipal employees
  • State employees
  • A person who is hired verbally or through a written contract by someone within the state

Depending on the circumstances, workers' compensation may not apply for someone who is a contract employee, a volunteer, or who may work for someone outside of the state's boundaries. People who are sole owners of a business can choose to have workers' compensation but may not be required. The same is true for a business partner.

Connecting the Injury or Illness to the Job

In order for someone to be able to file a claim for workers' compensation, it is necessary for them to provide some type of proof that their injury or illness is related directly to their job. While sometimes this is relatively easy to do, as in the case of a physical injury from an onsite accident, other times it can be difficult to determine if the job led to the injury. For example, some people suffer from a repetitive stress condition such as carpal tunnel after spending years on a computer.

In such cases, it is important for the employee to make sure that their employer is made aware of the problem as soon as possible. In addition, seeking medical care should include obtaining documentation from a doctor that the injury is work-related. In order to make sure that a problem does not arise, employees should check to make sure that they go to a doctor or medical provider who is approved under the insurance plan.

Obtaining Compensation

There are some employers who will refuse to pay for an employee's injury or may claim that the injury is not work-related. In such instances, it will fall upon the employee to pursue compensation. According to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission, this can be accomplished by the employee speaking with the employer and then filing a claim themself with the workers' compensation commission.

Workers' compensation claims can be extremely complicated, and therefore it is in your best interests to talk with an experienced attorney. An attorney can help you understand what your rights are and what is required so that you can receive the monetary assistance to which you are entitled.