Travel and Mileage Reimbursement in Workers’ Compensation Cases

Posted: April 17th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Illinois Workers Compensation Attorney, Workers Comp Benefits | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off

mileage reimbursement, travel reimbursement, Illinois Workers' Compensation AttorneyWhen an employee is injured and is receiving workers’ compensation benefits for that injury, the benefits generally cover the cost of their medical care, among other consideration. Many may be unaware, however, that they may also be eligible for reimbursement for mileage and other expenses connected to any traveling they need to do because of the injury.

Under Section 8(a) of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, 820 ILCS 305/8(a), an employer is required to pay all those expenses, both medical and vocational for an injured employee. The current rate for travel reimbursement is 56 cents per mile.

Travel to doctors’ appointments, physical therapy, mental therapy associated with the injury, and picking up medications at pharmacies all qualify for reimbursement. A worker is also eligible for mileage reimbursement for Independent Medical Exams (IME). An IME is a doctor’s examination, which has been requested by the insurance company, and performed by a physician that is not the injured party’s treating physician.

A person receiving workers’ compensation benefits is also eligible to receive mileage reimbursement for any travel for vocational rehabilitation that is connected to their work injury. If you have suffered an injury that will prevent you from ever performing activities you were able to do prior to your injury, then your employer has an obligation to provide vocational rehabilitation services to you in order to determine what type of work you are able to perform. Any travel associated for appointments with a vocational rehabilitation counselor is eligible for mileage reimbursement.

In many cases, learning a new occupation is the only option an injured employee has. Often, this training is long-term, and may include obtaining a vocational certificate or college degree. The mileage related to such travel also qualifies for reimbursement.

In order to qualify for mileage and other travel reimbursement, it is crucial to keep detailed records and receipts. Keeping a mileage log in your vehicle and writing down the date, beginning mileage, and ending mileage for each of your trips will make it easier to gather this information and submit these expenses to the insurance company in a timely manner.

If you have been injured in a work accident, there are many benefits you may be entitled to under the Illinois Workers Compensation Act. Contact a qualified Chicago workers’ compensation attorney today to find out what legal options you may have.


Musculoskeletal Disorders Responsible for One-Third Workers Compensation Claims

Posted: April 3rd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Employer Liability, Illinois Workers Compensation Attorney, Musculoskeletal Disorders | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off

workers comp, workers compensation, Cook County Workers Compensation AttorneyAccording to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), musculoskeletal disorders caused by ergonomic hazards are the reason for one-third of the workers compensation cases that occur every year.

These types of injuries are referred to as work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD) and are the cause for over 600,000 missed days from work. For every three dollars spent on workers compensation injuries, one dollar is spent on WMSDs.

WMSDs occur when there is repeated stress put on a body part. The position a person is required to be in when the task is being performed triggers pain and eventually causes deterioration of the affected tissues, muscles, and joints. These types of injuries are classified as ergonomic risk factors, and studies have shown that continued exposure to these types of risk factors increases the chances of developing musculoskeletal disorders.

WMSDs affect workers in many different industries, as well. However, according to statistics provided by the CDC, the top industries affected by WMSDs are non-durable goods merchant wholesalers, furniture and home furnishing stores, and merchant wholesalers of durable goods.

WMSDs can injure many parts of the body, including the back, upper extremities and lower extremities. One of the bodily regions that have seen a major increase over the past few decades is the upper extremities. Carpal tunnel syndrome and shoulder tendinitis represent two of the more common injuries in this area.

Almost 70 percent of the WMSDs are caused by manual activities on the job. Tasks such as moving, lifting, or lowering heavy objects are the most common ways these injuries can occur. Another twenty percent of WMSDs  are the result of slip and fall accidents.

If you are suffering from a work-related musculoskeletal disorder, contact an experienced Cook County workers compensation attorney to find out what legal recourse. Call the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio today, at 630-574-2288, for a free consultation.

 

 


Truck Driver Fights AWW Calculation in Workers’ Compensation Case

Posted: March 19th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Illinois workers comp, Illinois Workers Compensation Attorney, Workers Comp Benefits | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off

AWW, Work Comp, Chicago Workers Compensation LawyerAccording to Section 10 of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, compensation for work-related injury shall be based on the average weekly wage (AWW), to be defined by the actual earnings of the employee in the job in which he or she was working at the time of injury. Based on this statute, the claimant in Sanders vs. Boyd Brothers Transportation posited that, since he was injured in course of performing his full-time truck driver job, his AWW calculation should exclude the wages previously paid to him as a trainee, a separate position for which he was paid a lower rate.

The claimant in this workers’ compensation case, as arbitrated last year in Illinois, was a trainee for four weeks earning $400 in weekly wages. In the fifth week, he began work as a truck driver, a position which included responsibility for tarping the truck. He was paid wages of $0.38 per mile, mileage bonuses, and $50 for tarping. The incident which prompted the claim occurred when the claimant fell and was injured while pulling a tarp.

The defendant argued that the AWW should consider the claimant’s full nine weeks of employment. Due to the job change after week four, however,, the claimant maintained that the earlier weeks as a trainee should not be considered when calculating benefits. Ultimately, the arbitrator found in favor of the claimant and awarded an AWW of $612.26.

The arbitrator noted precedence in other cases for the decision, including the case of Walter vs. Jacksonville Development Center.  The Commission found the claimant in that case warranted an AWW computation based only on full-time employment since there was a change in work status from part-time to full-time. Upon review of the arbitrator’s ruling, the Commission affirmed the decision made in Sanders vs. Boyd Brothers Transportation.

If you have been injured at work, you may be entitled to compensation for both medical expenses and wages lost due to your injury. Our law firm’s goal is to help protect workers’ rights and fight for your full benefits with the prompt attention each case deserves. If you have experienced an on-the-job injury in Illinois, contact an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney today for a free case evaluation.