"AMERICA, HOME OF THE FREE, BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE" OFFERING FREE CONSULTATIONS 630-574-2288
Chat
Espanol

Can Independent Contractors Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Illinois?

April 29th, 2021 at 12:54 pm

contractorEven though all employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, not all those who work for that employer are covered. Technically, only true employees are eligible for coverage under workers’ compensation, but many companies also employ a variety of other workers, such as independent contractors. However, independent contractors are not eligible to receive benefits through workers’ compensation, even if they are injured while working. Some work injuries can be serious and require extensive medical care and time off from work, placing unnecessary stress on you and your family. If you have been injured as an independent contractor and your employer has stated that you are ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits, an Illinois attorney can help.

Employee Misclassification is Common

Even though both independent contractors and employees work for an employer, there are differences in their employment status and benefits. Though there are federal laws to distinguish an employee from an independent contractor, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission considers all workers to have an employment relationship with their employer unless otherwise stated. Misclassifying workers is a common reason why a workers’ compensation claim can be denied by your employer. Misclassifying workers allows employers to avoid paying payroll and unemployment taxes on that worker’s earnings, but it also means the employer can face penalties if they willfully misclassify an employee.

Am I an Employee or an Independent Contractor?

The criteria that the Workers’ Compensation Commission uses to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor is slightly different than the criteria that the federal government uses. According to the Commission, a person is not an independent contractor unless that person:

  • Has and will continue to be free from the employer’s control over their performance of their services;
  • Provides a service either outside of the usual type of business or services the company provides or that service is performed outside of of the company’s locations; and
  • Has an independently established trade, occupation, business, or profession.

Contact a Cook County Workers’ Compensation Attorney

For the average family, being injured at work and being denied workers’ compensation benefits could cause extreme financial stress. It is important that your employer correctly classifies your employment status, but they do not always do this. If you have been injured at work and you are unsure of whether or not you qualify for benefits, you should speak with a skilled Chicago, IL workers’ compensation lawyer. At the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio, we can help you determine whether or not you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits and your options for recovering that compensation. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 630-574-2288.

 

Sources:

https://www2.illinois.gov/idol/Employees/Pages/Employer-Misclassification-of-Workers.aspx

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/iwcc/about/Pages/insurance.aspx

 

Reasons Workers’ Compensation Gets Denied

April 20th, 2021 at 9:35 pm

work-injuryNobody plans on getting injured — that is why we call it an accident. However, getting hurt at work can result in rather difficult circumstances for you and your family. Not only can it cause you physical maladies, but taking time off of work can also cause financial distress for your family. Fortunately, workers’ compensation exists to help ease some of the burden that is brought on by getting injured at work. However, workers’ compensation benefits are not automatic. Before you can begin to claim compensation, you must first file for your benefits with the state. Even if your injury happened at work, not all workers’ compensation claims will be accepted. Though it can be frustrating, there are multiple reasons why your workers’ compensation claim might be denied.

Understanding the Reasons for Denial

Workers’ compensation was created with the intention of providing financial and vocational support to those who have been injured at work. As such, the primary objective of the program is to help people, which is why many claims are accepted without issue. However, some claims may be challenged by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. Here are some of the most common reasons why your Illinois workers’ compensation claim may have been denied:

  • You waited too long to file your claim. Like most other things, filing a workers’ compensation claim has a time limit to it. In general, the statute of limitations for filing a workers’ compensation claim in Illinois is 45 days. If the injury involves radiation, the statute of limitations is 90 days. If you fail to report your injury within this timeframe, your claim can be denied or delayed.
  • You have a pre-existing condition. In some cases, your workers’ compensation claim may be denied because of a pre-existing condition that you have reported. Your employer may try to avoid paying for your workers’ compensation by saying that your injury was pre-existing, but it is important to note that you still have rights, even if you have a pre-existing condition. You may still be entitled to benefits if your workplace injury aggravated your pre-existing condition.
  • Your own actions contributed to the injury. Workers’ compensation only covers employees for injuries that they have sustained during accidents that occur at work from the usual course of conduct. Workers’ compensation does not cover accidents that occur due to the negligence, misconduct, or irresponsibility of the employee. Your claim may be denied if the details of your case reveal you as being at fault, or under the influence of intoxicating substances at the time of the accident.

Our Chicago, IL Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Are Here to Help

It can be extremely frustrating to hear that your workers’ compensation claim has been denied. However, even if your claim was denied, that does not mean it is the end of the road. At the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio, we know that workers’ compensation claims are denied all of the time for all kinds of reasons, whether they are valid or not. Our skilled Cook County workers’ compensation attorneys can help you understand your rights when it comes to your workers’ compensation benefits. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 630-574-2288.

 

Sources:

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/iwcc/resources/Pages/faq.aspx

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/iwcc/Documents/handbook.pdf

Common Ways an Employee Can Be Disfigured at Work

March 30th, 2021 at 9:26 pm

works compEmployers and employees alike are responsible for taking safety precautions to prevent workplace accidents. However, even when all necessary measures are taken, injuries can still occur. Depending on the environment and job duties, there are various ways in which a worker can suffer a disfiguring injury while on the job. Disfigurement can affect many parts of the body, and it can lead to long-lasting scars as well as extensive rehabilitation. In many cases, Illinois workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they are disfigured at work.

Disfigurement Defined Per Illinois Law

According to the Illinois Supreme Court, disfigurement is defined as an impairment of a person’s appearance that is unusual. For instance, it can impact an individual’s beauty or the symmetry of his or her face or body. Under Illinois law, to be eligible for workers’ compensation, a disfigurement must be severe and permanent. In addition, it must be located on a visual part of the body, like the face, head, neck, hand, arm, or lower leg. However, a disfiguring injury to the rest of the body may not be eligible for compensation. It is important to note that if an accident caused the loss of a limb, the worker may not claim both disability and disfigurement benefits for that same body part.

Dangers on the Job

Working in certain fields or industries can increase the likelihood of accidents due to potential dangers. For example, some factory and construction jobs may involve operating large and heavy equipment. If a machine part malfunctions, an employee could get their hand stuck in it, resulting in deep cuts or lacerations. When toxic substances such as acid come in contact with a person, it can burn the skin. Similarly, explosions or electrocutions can cause third-degree burns or nerve damage. Erecting high-rise buildings may require workers to perform their duties using scaffolding, harnesses, or ladders. Falling from these items can cause serious head trauma or broken bones.
A few of the most common types of accidents that could result in disfigurement include:

  • Vehicle accidents (car, truck, tractor, forklift)
  • Falls from significant heights
  • Toxic chemical burns
  • Electrocution/Explosions
  • Falling objects (tools or other equipment)
  • Malfunctioning or defective power tools

Contact an Illinois Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Workplace accidents can result in serious to life-threatening injuries depending on the industry and circumstances. If you are disfigured after suffering a work injury, it can be physically and emotionally devastating. In many cases, financial relief may be obtained through workers’ compensation benefits. A renowned Chicago workplace injury attorney from the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio can help you navigate this legal process of filing a claim. Call us today at 630-574-2288 to arrange a free and confidential consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2430

Back to Top Back to Top Back to Top