In 2011, a law was passed in the state of Illinois that made some changes to the workers’ compensation system. Most notably, the law reduced medical fees by 30 percent. Since that time, the aftermath of those changes are beginning to show; in a recent report, Illinois’ workers’ compensation costs fell below those of neighboring states. If you have been in a workplace accident in Illinois, understanding how these changes may affect you is important.
Workers’ Compensation Costs Fall
As reported on by Crain’s Chicago Business and originally published by the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute, medical payments in the state fell by nearly 15 percent, averaging just over $14,500 per claim (the year before, the average claim was just over $17,000). The change means that the average Illinois medical payment in a workers’ compensation claim is lower than those in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Indiana.
Workers’ Compensation Costs Higher Than Surrounding States
Even though the average payment for a medical claim has dropped, Iowa still pays more for workers’ compensation claims than do many other states. And furthermore, Illinois has the seventh-highest workers’ compensation rates in the nation. Some are hoping to change this.
Do the Changes Affect My Workers’ Compensation Claim?
A misinterpretation of the data above could make it appear as though workers are receiving less in medical benefits today than they were in years past; this is not entirely true – it is not that workers are receiving less so much as that the fees associated with paying those workers their full benefit amount have been reduced, keeping costs lower.
However, if you are a worker in the state, changes that will affect your claim may be coming your way. In fact, according to the article published in Crain’s Chicago Business, Republican Governor Bruce Rauner has proposed multiple changes, including making changes to benefits for injuries sustained during work-related travel, as well as what work-related injuries are covered under workers’ compensation(Rauner would like to reduce claims for injuries caused by a minimal connection to work). The changes are being proposed as a way to save money on workers’ compensation costs.
You Deserve Your Full Benefit Amount
The state’s budgetary issues should not be carried on your shoulders; if you are a worker who has sustained a workplace injury in Illinois, you deserve your full compensation amount. If you are worried that your benefit amount may be reduced, or that you are being shortchanged, do not hesitate to contact a workers’ compensation attorney. An attorney can help you to prove that your injury happened on the job (especially in light of proposed changes), can help you to document and prove the extent of your injuries, and can help you to demonstrate why you deserve benefits. In the event that your claim is denied or you are not offered enough, an attorney can also aid you appealing this decision.
Contact Our Attorneys Today
When you have been injured on the job, you have certain rights, including the right to workers’ compensation benefits. Do not let your employer deny you these rights; for a legal advocate you can trust, call the experienced Illinois workers’ compensation attorneys at Fisk & Monteleone LTD. now. You can reach us at 815-209-9030 today.