What Can I Do If Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are Denied?

21 Aug, 2013
By: Donald W Fohrman
What Can I Do If Workers' Compensation Benefits Are Denied?

If your employer wrongfully denies your claim or fails to provide workers’ compensation benefits, you are not without options. If you were injured in a work-related accident and provided proper notification to your employer of the accident and resulting injuries, but have not received workers’ compensation benefits, you can do the following:

1. Contact a skilled workers’ compensation attorney like those at the Chicago workers’ compensation law firm of Donald W. Fohrman & Associates, Ltd. The workers’ compensation claim process can be confusing, especially if your claim is wrongfully denied by your employer or its insurance company. The Illinois workers compensation lawyers at Donald W. Fohrman & Associates focus on helping injured employees obtain the worker’s compensation benefits that they need and deserve following a workplace accident. We will communicate with the insurance company and their counsel so that you don’t have to, and we will represent you in connection with any hearings or appeals in order to advocate on your behalf for full and fair workers’ compensation benefits.

2. File a claim for workers’ compensation benefits with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC). In most cases, injured workers have three years from the date of injury to file a claim with the IWCC. While there are no fees to file a claim with the IWCC, you must show that you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits by proving the following: (1) on the date of the accident, you were an employee of the employer; (2) you sustained work-related injuries during the course of employment; (3) your condition was caused or aggravated by your employment, and (4) your employer received proper notice of the accident.

3. If there is a dispute between you and your employer about your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits or the amount of workers’ compensation benefits to which you are entitled, an arbitrator with the IWCC will conduct a trial during which evidence and testimony regarding the work-related accident and injuries, along with the impact on your ability to work, will be introduced. You may be asked to undergo an independent medical exam in advance of the trial and the testimony of the medical examiner may be introduced during the trial.  The IWCC arbitrator typically issues a decision within 60 days of the trial.

4. If you are dissatisfied with the decision of the IWCC arbitrator, you can appeal the decision before a panel of three commissioners who will hear oral arguments from both sides. Once the oral arguments are complete, the panel will issue a decision within 60 days. If you work for a private employer and your claim is denied, you may appeal the panel’s decision through the Illinois court system.

5. If your employer denied your workers’ compensation claim because it failed to obtain the required workers’ compensation coverage, you may be entitled to sue your employer in civil court or file a claim with the IWCC.
If your workers’ compensation benefits were wrongfully denied after a workplace accident, contact Donald W. Fohrman & Associates, Ltd. at (800) 437-2571 to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys.

About The Author

Photo of Donald W Fohrman
After completing law school Donald became an assistant Attorney General for 7 years and was assigned to the Industrial Commission Division. During that time he spent evenings establishing his own firm. Donald became a founding partner of a large workers’ compensation/personal injury firm but decided to leave the firm in 1990 to start a smaller “boutique” firm with the belief that bigger isn’t always better!
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