Springfield IL Workers’ Compensation Benefits Lawyers
There are many types of benefits available to an injured employee, and those benefits vary widely depending on the type of injury that the worker sustains. At a minimum, the employee is entitled to coverage of his or her medical bills if that employee is injured through the scope of their employment while working for his or her employer. The medical bills will be paid by the workers’ compensation insurance company.
The Illinois Workers Compensation publishes a handbook that explains in layperson terms what benefits are available. Depending on the facts of the case, the following benefits may also be available:
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD) Benefits
- Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) Benefits
- Vocational Rehabilitation/Maintenance Benefits
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Benefits
- Permanent Total Disability (PTD) Benefits
- Death/Survivors’ Benefits
Each benefit is different and has its own calculations that are followed to determine the amount of benefit that is provided to the injured person.
If you are unsure of what benefits you are entitled to, you should contact the Noll Law Office immediately. The Noll Law Office is a locally owned, family-owned, and operated law firm that has been in business since 1948. They have experienced litigation lawyers who understand what benefits an injured worker may be eligible for. Their attorneys provide compassionate counsel to help alleviate any concerns or apprehensions you may have regarding the Illinois Workers’ Compensation system. They offer free initial consultations and only take a fee if they successfully obtain a settlement or arbitration award on your behalf.
Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) Overview
Simply stated, workers’ compensation is an insurance system that was created to help employees who were injured on the job by paying for the injured person’s medical bills and time off work when they are injured. Other insurance benefits might also apply.
Almost every employer in the State of Illinois is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Employees are entitled to workers’ compensation insurance coverage when they sustain an accident while working, and the accident arises out of and during the course of their employment.
When an injured employee sustains an accident that arises out of, and during the course of, employment, then the employee is entitled to workers’ compensation insurance coverage. This includes coverage of medical bills for treatment received after the work accident. The medical treatment covered can be any treatment reasonably necessary to diagnose, relieve, or cure the bad effects of the claimant’s injury.
Put another way; the employee is entitled to recover only those medical expenses that are reasonable and causally related to the work accident. If an employee must miss work due to his or her work injury, then wage benefits are usually due and owing after the employee has missed three days of work.
The employer must also pay for treatment, instruction, and training necessary for the physical, mental, and vocational rehabilitation of the employee, including all maintenance costs and incidental expenses. This typically occurs when employees sustain catastrophic injuries that require extensive rehabilitation efforts to return to work.
Illinois workers’ compensation claims are somewhat complex, but with the help of the lawyers at the Noll Law Office, they can guide you through this process. If you have a question about whether you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, contact the Noll Law Office immediately. The Noll Law Office can guide you through the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Insurance Claims Process and provide you with an honest legal opinion as to whether you are entitled to coverage of benefits.
What Types of Benefits Are Available to an Injured Worker in Illinois?
The benefits you receive from Illinois workers’ compensation claims range widely based on the injuries. Here is a closer look at the types of benefits that are available in Illinois:
Generally, medical expenses are paid by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company. The bills are usually reimbursed in accordance with the medical fee schedule.
Keep in mind that it is not legal for your doctors or other medical facilities to send you to collections for medical bills sustained during a workers’ compensation claim. If you receive medical bills with a collections notice, you should provide a copy to your lawyer immediately and let them know so that they can send a cease and desist letter on your behalf.
Your attorney can also provide a copy of the bills to the workers’ compensation insurance company and demand that the bill be paid. If workers’ compensation does not pay the bill, your attorney can request an emergency (“19b”) hearing with the Illinois Workers Compensation seeking an order that the bill is paid.
Insurance companies consistently try and fight coverage of medical bills. They also delay payment. If this happens to you, you should contact the Noll Law Office immediately to discuss your case.
Benefits if You Are Unable to Work
Many people suffering after a work injury sustain more than just medical debt – they have a financial loss because they cannot work. Classic examples of this include missing work to undergo surgery or being placed in orthotic devices for several weeks. It can be financially devastating for Springfield, Illinois families.
However, there may be some benefits available to help you. A summary of the benefits is contained in the workers’ compensation handbook published by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Benefits. They include:
Temporary Total Disability (TTD) Benefits
If you miss some work due to your workplace injury, but you are missing work for only a temporary period of time, you can request temporary total disability benefits. Usually, temporary disability provides 66.6% of your average weekly wage in the year prior to the injury. You are entitled to these benefits after you miss three days from work, and if you miss fourteen days of work, the initial three days of work are also paid.
This calculation is preliminary. There are many exceptions that will apply to calculations and considerations that your attorney will need to review with you, including but not limited to (1) how often you are given mandatory overtime; (2) whether you have additional part-time jobs; and (3) whether you have certain high-risk jobs such as police work.
The Noll Law Office can review all these issues with you and more. The important thing to know is that the benefits exist, and you have a right to consult with an attorney to avoid bankruptcy while you seek medical treatment.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) Benefits
If a person has suffered an injury that still allows them to work light duty on a part-time or full-time basis, they are usually entitled to any difference in their pay that they would have earned in their pre-injury job. These benefits should last until the worker has returned to their regular job or recovered from their injury.
The TPD benefit is usually two-thirds (66.66%) of the difference between the average amount the employee would be able to earn in the pre-injury job(s) and the gross amount he or she earns in the light-duty job.
Again, you should speak with the Noll Law Office’s workers’ compensation attorneys in Springfield, Illinois, if you have questions about whether you should receive TPD benefits. Its lawyers can help guide you through the various calculations and provide you with an honest legal opinion about the Illinois workers’ compensation benefits available to you.
There are several other types of workers’ compensation benefits that may or may not exist with respect to your claims. You should speak with the Noll Law Office to determine what insured events may apply to your case.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Benefits
There are several types of PPD benefits that exist. They include:
- Wage Differential Benefits;
- “Schedule of Injuries” Benefits;
- “Non-Schedule Injuries” Benefits; and,
Wage Differential Benefits
At times, an employee cannot return to the same occupation because of the type of injury he or she sustained. When an employee’s injury forces him or her to find a new job that pays less than the pre-injury employment, he or she may be entitled to receive a wage differential award. The wage differential award is generally two-thirds (66.66%) of the difference between the amount the employee earns in the new job and the amount he or she would have been earning in the prior employment. Insurance companies almost always fight these payments. So, if you believe this applies to you, you should immediately contact the Noll Law Office.
“Schedule of Injuries” Benefits
Sometimes, an employee has a body part that does not work as well as it did prior to the work accident. Employees may suffer from permanent loss of range of motion, loss of strength, and other deficits. For example, a person suffering from torn knee structures and a fracture may not be able to completely bend the knee, squat, or kneel as far or long as they did previously. It’s often referred to as the “Schedule of Injuries” benefits.
This is an insured event. The workers’ compensation system has a “schedule of body parts,” essentially equating most of your body parts to a certain number of weeks’ pay. Typically, the system sets a value on certain body parts, expressed as a number of weeks of compensation for each part. The number of weeks is then usually multiplied by 60% of the employee’s average weekly wage in the year prior to the work injury.
The Noll Law Office can help you with these calculations, as it can get a little confusing, and there are all sorts of specific rules that may or may not apply to you. The bottom line is that your body is insured because your employer paid for the insurance. You deserve coverage of Illinois workers’ compensation benefits if you were injured and have residual deficits. That’s what insurance is for.
“Non-Schedule Injuries” Benefits
Sometimes your body is injured as a “whole.” For example, if you have a spinal injury, shoulder injury, core injury, and the like. This is referred to as a “Non-Schedule” injury. It is also compensable. If the condition is not listed on the schedule of body parts, but the employee is left with certain limitations, the employee may be entitled to a percentage of up to 500 weeks of benefits based on the loss of the person as a whole. The number of weeks is then typically multiplied times 60% of the employee’s average weekly wage.
Finally, at other times, employees are sadly disfigured from a work accident. This typically happens from burns sustained in factory conditions but can occur in a host of other situations as well. Employees who sustain disfigurement and scarring to the head, face, neck, and chest above the armpits, arm, hand, or leg below the knee can claim a maximum of 162 weeks of benefits at the permanent partial disability rate as referenced above. The number of weeks is multiplied by 60% of the employee’s average weekly wage. A scar should heal for at least six months before a hearing to assess the disfigurement can be held.
Permanent Total Disability (PTD) Benefits
In catastrophic injury cases, employees sometimes cannot return to work. In these horribly sad cases, PTD benefits involve the complete disability that renders an employee permanently unable to do any kind of work for which there is a reasonably stable employment market.
PTD can also be granted when an employee loses the permanent and complete loss of both hands, both arms, both feet, both legs, both eyes or any two such of those parts (like one leg and one arm, etc.). Any employee who is found to be permanently and totally disabled is entitled to a weekly benefit equal to 2/3 of their average weekly wage for life subject to minimum and maximum limits.
If you are in this situation, you really should contact an attorney immediately. All sorts of insurance issues will arise, from vocational rehabilitation requirements to the ongoing need for future medical care. The Noll Law Office can provide compassionate counsel and real legal advice based on the facts of your case. They work tirelessly for clients and will go to arbitration on your behalf.
In worst-case scenarios, death benefits can be paid for 25 years or up to $500,000, whichever is greater. There is also a one-time benefit of $8,000 for funeral and burial expenses. If an employee sustains medical bills prior to his or her death, then those are covered as well.
If your loved one was killed in a workplace accident, the lawyers at the Noll Law Office can help you set up an estate and file a claim for survivor benefits. They are a locally owned firm in Springfield, Illinois. Their firm lawyers attempt to give their clients as much face-to-face time as possible to help them understand and navigate the workers’ compensation claims process during this difficult time. They offer free initial consultations where they will attempt to answer any questions you may have and discuss what options you have moving forward.
Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits
If you are unable to continue to do your regular job due to a workplace injury, you may be entitled to vocational rehabilitation benefits. Additionally, if you are unable to return to work for one year (365 days) after the work injury, a vocational rehabilitation assessment is likely in order.
These types of situations often occur when a work accident leaves a person unable to continue in a labor position. Thus, the person requires some sort of specialized job skills to help them regain employment at a wage similar to what was previously earned.
Services under vocational rehabilitation may include job exploration (job search), job modification, occupational training, supplemental education, and other assistance.
Pursuant to Section 8(a) of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, payment for vocational rehabilitation programs is to be made by the employer. These costs could include the cost of travel, room and board, maintenance, and other living expenses. If you are interested in vocational rehabilitation services, contact the Illinois Workers’ Compensation lawyers at the Noll Law Office today for a free initial consultation to discuss what options you may have.
Common Mistakes in Applying for Benefits
Common mistakes in applying for benefits include:
- Failure to provide notice to the employer within 45 days of the injury;
- Failing to verify whether or not the insurance company has paid the bills;
- Failing to properly calculate the worker’s average weekly wage; and,
- Settling a case for less than its worth.
How the Noll Law Office Will Help
The Noll Law Office will provide you with your legal options and guide you through the claims process. They understand the workers’ compensation process and the benefits available and have a significant amount of litigation experience. The lawyer(s) that you meet with at your initial meeting will likely be the attorney handling your case. You will not be pawned off to an attorney fresh out of law school. The Noll Law Office knows how to locate and obtain evidence to support your claim so that you may request the maximum amount of coverage allowable under Illinois law.
They are a small family-run firm that places client communication first so that its clients understand the status of their case and what their legal options are. They offer a free initial consultation, and you only have to pay them if they are successful in your case.