When Illinois work-related injuries occur, most workers try to return to work as soon as possible to avoid a lapse in pay. However, if you return to work too soon, it can impact your physical health and your finances.
Workers’ Compensation in Illinois
In Illinois, employers are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance for all work-related illnesses and injuries. Sick and injured workers have a legal right to seek medical attention and collect workers’ compensation while they recover.
The Purpose of Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation, a government-mandated program, provides benefits to ill, injured, and disabled workers. It’s a disability insurance program that provides healthcare benefits, cash benefits, or both to Illinois workers through the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC).
Employee Rights and Benefits Under Workers’ Compensation Laws in Illinois
Under Illinois Laws, employers are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance to cover medical expenses and lost wages. Payments are about two-thirds of the worker’s gross salary, but they are not taxable at the federal or state level. To protect your legal rights, talk to a workers’ compensation attorney.
When filing for workers’ compensation benefits, you should know what happens to medical bills when workers’ comp is denied. The law requires insurance companies to cover medical bills for work-related injuries when a workers’ comp claim is denied.
The Dangers of Returning to Work Too Soon After an Injury
Although most workers allow injuries to heal before returning to work, some return to work too soon, creating health complications that impact injury claims and settlement agreements.
Reasons Why Employees May Choose to Return to Work Prematurely
Returning to work prematurely is often linked to:
- Preventing a loss of normal income
- Fear of getting fired
- Concerns about changes in job duties
Compromising Physical and Mental Well-Being
Returning to work early may result in compromised physical and mental well-being. Even with improvements, some workers develop chronic fatigue, insomnia, and mood changes.
Exacerbating the Injury and Potentially Prolonging Recovery
Improper healing creates delays in recovery and impacts your workers’ comp settlement agreement. Employers can’t terminate you for filing a workers’ compensation claim, but they can ask for your voluntary resignation as part of a settlement agreement.
Impact on Workers’ Compensation Claims and Benefits
If your doctor tells you it’s safe to return to work with limitations, you are required to do so. Otherwise, you can lose the workers’ compensation benefits you’re receiving or lose your job.