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How do I file for workers' compensation benefits?

An on-the-job injury can be devastating, causing long-term physical, emotional and financial harm. Most people understand that workers' compensation exists for injuries, but not everyone in Illinois is familiar with the process to receive benefits. By better understanding workers' compensation and its purpose, victims of workplace injuries can achieve the best results possible.

The first step to obtaining workers' compensation benefits is to report the injury as soon as possible. This is true even if a supervisor might already be aware that you were hurt during an already documented accident. By reporting an injury immediately, workers can begin the process of seeking workers' compensation benefits before their injuries worsen or reach a point that becomes unbearable.

After reporting the injury, workers should ask to be seen by a doctor. Depending on the company, the worker might be seen by a company doctor, although it is usually possible to request treatment from a personal doctor at a later point. The most important thing, though, is to ensure that timely medical evaluations are obtained.

Reporting an injury and seeking medical care is not quite enough to get workers' compensation benefits. Injury victims must also complete and submit workers' comp claim forms to their employers before the process of providing benefits can even begin. Until these forms are submitted, employers are not required to provide injury victims with much of anything.

Being injured in a workplace accident can be a nightmare for Illinois workers. Many fear the financial impact of missing work during recovery and return too soon, resulting in even more harm than before. By taking the time to familiarize themselves with the process and resulting benefits, victims of workplace injuries can achieve necessary relief through the workers' compensation insurance system.

Source: FindLaw, "Workers' Compensation: Questions and Answers", Accessed on Oct. 25, 2017

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