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Some lesser known facts about Illinois Worker’s Compensation

Most people are already generally aware of what the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act is about. Many people know that the IWCA ensures that Illinois workers who are hurt on the job or acquire diseases connected with their jobs can receive money and medical benefits.

However, fewer people know some of the more arcane provisions of this statute. The following are some examples of those:

-- Workers' compensation insurance is generally paid out to injured or ill employees regardless of whether they were at fault for contributing to their own injuries.

-- The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission is the state agency tasked with administering compensation claims. The IWCC is also responsible for the judicial process involved in worker-employee disputes regarding workers' compensation.

-- Workers' compensation benefits are not considered taxable income.

-- Since Feb. 1, 2006, workers' injured or made ill can also receive a partial temporary disability payment while they are performing light duties at their place of employment.

-- Medical benefits associated with workers' compensation are only available for medical care that is deemed as reasonably required as to heal or alleviate an employee's injury or illness.

-- Injured or sick Illinois workers can also receive compensation to learn new job skills in some circumstances. This could mean that if your injury prevents you from going back to work in your former capacity, then you might be eligible to learn a new skill or trade at little or no cost to you.

-- Your family can receive death benefits on your behalf if you are killed in connection with your Illinois job.

To be clear, this list is only a smattering of the rules and regulations associated with the IWCA. The key thing to remember is that you do not have to suffer quietly if you are injured while at work or made ill from your job. If you suspect that you may have a claim, your Illinois workers' compensation attorney can assist with assessing the merits of your case and advise you during any appeals process.

Source: Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission, "Handbook on Workers' Compensation and Occupational Diseases" Dec. 11, 2014

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