Getting hurt at work is something that can seem like more than you can handle. Not only are you worried about how you are going to recover, but you are also worried about how you will make ends meet.
If you are injured while working in Illinois, you should be covered under your employer's workers' compensation policy. This can help you to get partial wage replacement and medical benefits while you recover.
Do employees have to pay for workers' compensation coverage?
No, employees don't have to pay for workers' compensation coverage. This is an insurance policy that the employer must cover and is considered a normal business cost for doing business in Illinois.
When am I covered for workers' compensation?
Workers' compensation coverage starts from the first day of work. You don't have to meet any requirements to receive coverage as long as you are an employee. You can be a part-time, full-time or seasonal employee and still have the coverage. Independent contractors aren't provided the coverage like employees, so make sure you know what type of employment classification you have.
When do I have to inform my employer of a covered issue?
Employees should try to notify the employer as soon as the injury or illness occurs. In most cases, you have 45 days from the date of the injury to let the employer know. There are some exceptions to this. If you are exposed to radiation, you have 90 days to let your employer know. The time starts when you suspect that you were subjected to an excessive dose of radiation. If you suffer from a work-related illness, you must let the employer know as soon as you find out that you have the condition.
Are the benefits from workers' compensation taxable?
Workers' compensation benefits aren't taxable. You don't have to report these benefits on your income taxes. You will likely need to report them for some need-based programs, so make sure that you are keeping track of what you receive.
What can I do if my employer won't pay benefits?
If your employer isn't paying benefits that you are due, you can file a claim with the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission. This will trigger a review of the case, which could result in the Commission ordering the employer to pay you the benefits you are due. If you feel the need to exercise this option, make sure that you get your case prepared and filed within the time limit set by law.