For those who are injured while on the job, workers’ compensation benefits can be crucial. Medical benefits will cover the costs of all treatment related to an employee’s injury, and wage benefits will provide compensation for the loss of income due to a temporary or permanent disability. However, even though employees are eligible to receive these benefits following any work-related injuries, whether they or their employer were at fault, some employers or their insurance companies deny workers’ comp claims. This can cause a great deal of financial difficulty for a person, since they may be unable to pay their medical expenses, especially if they are unable to work while recovering from their injury. Fortunately, employees who have been denied benefits can file a claim through the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) and take steps to receive the benefits they deserve.
The IWCC Claims Process
An employee who has been denied workers’ comp benefits can begin the claims process through the IWCC by submitting an Application for Adjustment of Claim. A claim must be filed within three years after an injury occurred or within two years after the employee last received payment for medical bills or Temporary Total Disability (TTD).
After a claim is filed, the IWCC will assign an arbitrator to the case. Every three months, a status call will be scheduled, and either party may ask for a hearing to be held to review the case. In most cases, an employee must reach “maximum medical improvement” before the arbitrator can make a decision, although an emergency hearing may be necessary if an employee needs immediate assistance with medical bills or disability benefits....