A workers’ compensation attorney McHenry would say that any worker who sustains an injury at work while working for an employer is entitled to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Diseases Act provides injured workers with compensatory funds for damages such as lost wages and medical costs.
However, the benefits claim may be denied or it may result in less compensation than the claimant believes is warranted. In these cases, claimants may want to workers’ compensation appeal decisions with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.
How to proceed
The first step in the appeal process, a workers’ compensation attorney in McHenry would say, is to determine the reason for the denial or limited benefits. There are many reasons why a claim may fail to yield the expected results. One of these is failure on the part of the claimant to punctually notify his employer and to file an Application for Adjustment of Claim with the IWCC. In most cases, employer notification must occur within 45 days and filing must take place within three years of the manifestation of the injury at work.
Another potential cause of a disappointing outcome could be failure to prove that the injury in question did, in fact, arise out of and in the course of employment. Evidence of a plausible workplace accident or hazard and promptly sought medical treatment may contribute to proving an injury at work.
The appeal process
Once the claimant officially appeals the decision, perhaps with the guidance of a workers’ compensation attorney in McHenry, the IWCC will address the workers’ compensation appeal in accordance with the following sequence of actions:
- First, an arbitrator will be appointed to try the case.
- Second, a panel of commissioners may review the decision.
- Third, the decision may be appealed to higher courts.
In context, it may be helpful to know that according to the IWCC, most disputed workers’ compensation cases in Illinois are ultimately resolved through settlements.
Case of uninsured employer
Another circumstance that may have been the basis of a denial is the employer’s lack of insurance for workers’ compensation claims. Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Diseases Act, Illinois employers are required to carry insurance against these claims. Therefore, an uninsured employer is in violation of state law.
To support workers in such cases, the state has established the Injured Workers’ Benefit Fund, which collects fines from uninsured employers in order to provide compensation to deserving injured workers. Obtaining compensation from this fund requires a separate application that must be filed after a final judgment is received from the IWCC.