Most people employed in the State of Illinois are covered under the Workers’ Compensation Act. If you were hired in Illinois or your main employment is in Illinois, you are probably covered by the Illinois Act even if the place of the accident was outside of the state.
Generally, if you are injured on the job, you are entitled to the benefits under the Act. Also, if you catch a work-related disease, you may be covered under the Occupational Disease Act.
There are three main benefits under the WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ACT. They are:
- Medical Expense Benefits
- Temporary Total Disability Benefits; and
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
All job related injuries or diseases, with few exceptions, are covered by the Workers’ Compensation Act. If an injury is caused by an accident that arose out of and in the course of the inured person’s employment, then it is covered under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. In other words, the employee must be engaged in some task in the furtherance of his employer’s business and not some personal business of his own. An injured worker may even be entitled to full benefits if the accident was his own fault. However, injuries suffered in employer-sponsored recreational programs (athletic events, parties, picnics, etc.) are no longer covered unless the worker is required by his employer to participate.
Following the injury, the MOST IMPORTANT thing you have to do is REPORT THE INJURY TO YOUR EMPLOYER. The Workers’ Compensation Act requires that you must report the injury to your SUPERVISOR (Notice to a Co-worker is not notice to the employer)) within 45 days of the date of injury.
Failure to report the injury within the 45-day time limit can result in a loss of all benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act.
For your own peace of mind, do not hesitate when in doubt, report the injury to your supervisor in writing and keep a copy of the report.