How does workers’ compensation work in Illinois?

If you get hurt at work or receive a diagnosis of an illness related to your job, you can claim benefits through the Illinois workers’ compensation program. Understanding how this program works can help you protect your right to legal compensation.

Review the basics about Illinois workers’ comp if you or a family member has suffered a work-related injury or illness.

Available benefits

If you qualify for workers’ compensation, your employer’s insurance will cover medical care for your illness and injury. Depending on the severity of your medical needs, you may also qualify for partial or total disability benefits at 66 2/3% of your average wages prior to the illness or injury. Illinois also provides additional benefits for permanent disfigurement or loss of a body part or function of a body part.

The state does not tax workers’ compensation benefits. If you cannot return to your previous role, you may qualify for vocational rehabilitation services. The state pays a wage differential benefit if you earn less than you did before becoming injured.

Types of covered medical issues

Illinois requires employers to offer workers’ compensation benefits regardless of fault. Common examples of covered medical issues include repetitive stress injuries, worsening of existing health conditions, workplace accidents and auto accidents that occur while driving for work. Workers’ compensation does not cover accidents that occur while commuting or during optional social events.

Meeting the required deadlines with the appropriate documentation helps preserve your workers’ comp benefits. Notify your employer right away after a work injury or illness diagnosis to start the process.