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Available benefits under Illinois workers' compensation law

Federal and state regulations require most employers possess workers' compensation insurance coverage to cover any work-related injuries that may occur. If a covered employee is injured while on the job site or performing work-related duties or suffers an occupational disease or injuries caused at least in part by her employment, then the injured employee is entitled to certain rights and benefits.

The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission Handbook on Workers' Compensation and Occupational Diseases details specific benefits that are provided, as applicable, to eligible employees who suffer a work-related injury or occupational disease. Workers' compensation benefits include: medical expense benefits, temporary partial disability benefits, temporary total disability benefits, permanent partial disability benefits, permanent total disability benefits, vocational rehabilitation/maintenance benefits and death benefits.

The most immediate benefit received under workers' compensation insurance is payment for all reasonably necessary medical care related to the effects of the injury. Medical benefits include emergency care, follow-up physician visits, medications, physical therapy and assistive devices. Another significant benefit available is payment to the injured employee for partial compensation for wages lost due to physician-ordered time off work. The temporary total disability benefits pay two-thirds of the employee's average weekly wage, subject to minimum and maximum limits, for the period of time the employee is recovering.

If the employee suffers a permanent physical loss of either a part or use of the body, then he could be eligible to receive permanent disability benefits. The type of disability benefit due depends on the nature of the employee's injuries, specific body part or function lost and ability to perform other work.

Someone who suffers an injury on the job may wish to seek help in filing a workers' compensation claim. A lawyer might be able to help an injured worker to obtain benefits or help a deceased worker's family to pursue death benefits.

Source: Illinois Workers' Compensation Committee , "Handbook on Workers' Compensation and Occupation Disease", September 23, 2014

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