Your health should always be your first consideration when you’re injured at work. Whether you experience a minor fall or major mishap, it’s critical to get the medical attention you need as quickly as possible to give yourself the best chance of recovery.
If your medical diagnosis demands that you can’t immediately return to work, you’ll have to consider how to maintain your financial security while you heal. Depending on factors such as where your injury occurred, your employment status, and the amount of time that has passed since your work-related accident, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation.
Workers’ compensation is a category of insurance that covers the medical costs that result when employees get injured or sick as a direct result of their jobs. Since there is no federal workers’ compensation legislation, regulations related to workers’ compensation are set by each state.
To ensure that you get the benefits you deserve, it’s important to get your medical treatment at a practice that understands how workers’ compensation is handled in your state. In Chicago, Illinois, interventional pain management physician Shoeb Mohiuddin, MD, and the team at Regenerative Pain & Spine have years of experience treating workers who have experienced injuries on the job. Dr. Mohiuddin and the staff have the expertise necessary to relieve problems associated with back pain, neck pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, and other job-related injuries that often fall under the coverage of workers’ compensation.
While virtually all employees are covered by workers’ compensation, many people don’t understand how to use it. If you’ve been injured on the job or simply want to be prepared in case it ever happens to you, here is how you can determine whether you should consider using workers’ compensation:
Who workers’ compensation covers
Employers in Illinois are obligated by law to provide workers’ compensation insurance for virtually every worker whose employment is based in the state. Employers who knowingly avoid workers’ compensation insurance can be fined and issued a work-stop order until they obtain the appropriate coverage.
Workers’ compensation coverage takes effect the moment you are hired. Every employer must post a notice of workers’ compensation coverage in a location that is highly visible to employees. You can also find your employer’s workers’ compensation coverage online at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission website.
What’s covered by workers’ compensation:
Your condition may be covered by workers’ compensation if it involved a job-related injury or illness caused by exposure to work materials, activities, or equipment. Workers’ compensation typically covers conditions such as:
- Stroke or heart attack caused by work
- Injury as the result of repetitive motion or overuse of a body part at work
- Physical problems that occur as a result of work
- Pre-existing conditions worsened by work
- Injuries that occur at mandatory, company-sponsored events
- Injuries that occur during company-sponsored travel for business away from the worksite
Worker’s compensation typically doesn’t cover injuries that occur under the following circumstances:
- Driving to and from work
- Injuries that occur as the result of being intoxicated
- Horseplay in the workplace
- Intentional injury or illness
- Illegal activities and workplace policy violations
Applying for workers’ compensation
If you experience an injury that you believe may qualify for worker’s compensation, you must notify your employer about your injury or illness within 45 days of the incident.
You have three years to file a workers’ compensation claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. While many people hire a lawyer to assist with their workers’ compensation claim, it’s possible to do it yourself if you choose.
Why you should consider workers’ compensation
Workers’ compensation pays for 100% of medical costs related to healing from an injury. These expenses can include items such as emergency care, physician office visits, surgery, physical therapy, and medical devices such as wheelchairs.
When you are receiving treatment as a result of workers’ compensation, you have to alert your medical providers to this situation so that you’re not billed for medical services. The medical bills are sent directly to your employer when you are being treated for an injury related to a workers’ compensation claim.
Workers’ compensation may also cover your lost wages if you are unable to work as a result of an injury you experienced at work. Temporary Total Disability (TTD) payments are typically made until you’re released by a physician to return to work. The amount you receive is usually equal to two-thirds of your average weekly wage.
You may be eligible for Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) benefits if your injury results in a permanent disability. This type of payment is usually made in a lump sum. If your injury makes you unable to work in a position that pays the same salary you earned preinjury, you may be eligible for a wage differential to offset the impact of the injury on your earning potential.
The team at Regenerative Pain & Spine are experts in handling the physical and administrative aspects of injuries associated with workers’ compensation claims. To schedule a consultation, call one of our offices in Chicago’s West Ridge area.