The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act provides that every worker who sustains an on-the-job injury or develops Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or any other type of Repetitive Stress injury as a result of performing their job, is entitled to receive specified benefits.
The following are some of the most important benefits provided by the Act:
100% MEDICAL EXPENSES-You are entitled to 100% of all reasonable and necessary medical expenses which include but are not limited to first aid, emergency room services, hospital care, doctor’s fees and prescriptions. The injured worker is not required to pay any deductible or co-insurance payment and, unlike group health insurance, there are no preset dollar amounts.
CHOICE OF TREATING DOCTORS– You are entitled to receive treatment by two (2) doctors of your own choosing. Furthermore, you are entitled to receive treatment from doctors to whom you were referred by either of your first two (2) choices. This is known as the “chain of referral.”
WEEKLY LOST WAGE BENEFIT– If your doctor feels it is necessary for you to be off work to recuperate from your injuries, you are entitled to Temporary Total Disability benefits or T.T.D. T.T.D. is a weekly lost wage benefit which is based on two-thirds of your average, gross, weekly wage, excluding overtime and bonuses. These benefits are paid to you for the entire time that you are off work and under doctor’s care. These benefits are not subject to income tax.
LUMP SUM SETTLEMENT OR AWARD OF AN ARBITRATOR– After you have finished treatment for your injuries and your doctor has released you back to work, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. This compensation is called Partial Permanent Disability or P.P.D., but is commonly known as a Lump Sum settlement or an award of an arbitrator. (Before agreeing to accept any settlement from the insurance company, we recommend that you consult with a qualified attorney from our office who can determine if you have received a fair offer to settle your claim. In addition, if you were injured within the last three (3) years and have not signed pink Lump Sum Settlement contracts, you may still have a viable claim and may be eligible to receive partial permanent disability for your injuries.)
LOST WAGE DIFFERENTIAL-If, after exhausting all forms of treatment, you are no longer able to perform your job, and as a result, must accept a lower paying job, you may be entitled to what is known as a wage differential. This amount would equal two-thirds of the difference between the average gross weekly wage you could be earning but for your accident and the wage you are now able to earn.
VOCATIONAL RETRAINING– If your doctor has determined that you are unable to return to the type of work you were doing before your injury, your employer could be responsible to pay for any retraining or re-schooling necessary for your return to a position consistent with your physical limitations. You may also be entitled to receive weekly lost wage benefits during the entire retraining period.