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Benefit claim after workplace injury subject to time limit

Illinois workers are entitled to workers' compensation insurance benefits if they are injured in workplace accidents. However, there are specific timelines by which certain steps must be taken to ensure eligibility for benefits after a workplace injury. The first and obvious step is to seek medical attention. Then, keeping in mind that the medical bills and lost wages will soon cause financial difficulties, the following steps must follow as soon as possible.

File a written report must be submitted to the employer -- keeping a copy for one's own records -- within days as there is a time limit for this to be done. The employer must then provide the worker with a claim form to fill out with all the details of the workplace injury. The completed form -- along with any medical reports -- is returned to the employer who must file it with the workers' compensation insurance provider immediately.

The insurer may also require the company to provide wage verification before it reviews the claim. This process could take about 30 days by which time the injured worker will be advised whether the benefits claim was successful. If the insurer denies the claim, it must provide a reason. The worker may ask for a review hearing within a particular period. The hearing officer will then advise the employee of the final decision.

Navigating a workers' compensation claim in Illinois can be difficult, especially if the workplace injury was of a serious nature that might prevent the victim from meeting the timelines for a successful claim. Many injured workers seek the assistance of experienced workers' compensation attorneys who can handle the claims for them -- and even appeals for rejections, if applicable. The goal of a lawyer will likely be to obtain all available benefits for the worker as quickly as possible.

Source: FindLaw, "Timeline for Your Workers' Compensation Claim", Christopher Coble, Accessed on March 3, 2017

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