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Illinois Workers’ Compensation Guide

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The purpose of this guide is to help workers, and their allies, navigate the Illinois workers’ compensation system when they are injured or become ill on the job. For more information visit the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission website. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission has also created an extensive Handbook on Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Disease which we recommend for additional reading.

To use the guide, you may read through each of the below sections, or navigate to a specific question. This guide is not intended to, nor does it constitute legal advice. The workers’ compensation system can be very complicated to navigate. Determining whether an injured worker’s injury or illness is compensable and what benefits are owed are complex and fact-driven questions.  The employer relies on their insurance carrier and their lawyers to guide them through the process. To level the playing field, you may want legal assistance to guide you through the Illinois workers’ compensation system, early in your journey. Without legal representation, you may be giving up rights and benefits you didn’t know you had. Please consult the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Association for help finding a qualified attorney.

Who is Covered? Heading link

What Injuries and Illnesses are Covered? Heading link

What are Workers' Compensation Benefits? Heading link

How are Workers' Compensation Claims Resolved? Heading link

What if Benefits are Reduced or Stopped? Heading link

What are Other Sources of Income if I am Injured? Heading link

Advocating for a Better System Heading link

Workers marching carrying a banner that reads,

The workers’ compensation system is far from perfect; it can be complicated and inequitable. But it does provide major protection against devastating medical bills and lost wages due to a work-related injury or disease. We all play a role in advocating for a better workers’ compensation system. For example, workers’ compensation proceedings are considered public hearings. Co-workers are permitted to attend such hearings, show support, and provide insight into working conditions.

Illinois labor organizations continue to fight hard for improvements to the Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Disease Acts. Some legislative priorities include expanding coverage to all workers who are currently excluded, increasing employer penalties for bad-faith delays or not paying benefits, including overtime in the calculation of the average weekly wages, and more.

Connecting with coworkers and neighbors to ensure they know their rights in the event of a workplace injury or illness can increase access to benefits and improve worker health and safety in our communities.

For detailed information about benefits, eligibility, and more, visit the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission website. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission has also created an extensive Handbook on Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Disease which we recommend for additional reading.

This website is an updated online edition of the 1990 Illinois Workers’ Compensation Manual created in collaboration with former Chicago Area Committee on Occupational Safety and Health leadership, the Center for Healthy Work, and many dedicated attorneys, and advocates.

The information provided on this website is provided for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice on any subject matter and should not be construed as a substitute for seeking appropriate legal or other professional counsel. The content contained on this website is not guaranteed to be accurate and may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information. No viewer of this website site should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information contained herein without first seeking legal advice from qualified legal counsel. The operation of this website does not create an attorney-client relationship between the viewer and any other person or entity, and the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois and its agents hereby disclaim any and all liability for any actions taken or not taken based on any content contained on this website.

If you have any questions or comments about the content on this page, please fill out the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.