Every day, we hear stories about the COVID-19 public health emergency. Schools and many businesses have closed. Social distancing is not just suggested but required in some areas. The number of coronavirus cases and deaths continues to rise. However, you may be more concerned about how COVID-19 will affect you a little closer to home. In addition to worrying about becoming ill or losing family and friends, you have to worry about employment or how COVID-19 may affect your workers’ comp claim. In this article, that’s what we will explore.
How do you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits?
Individuals who are considered “employees” who suffer a work-related injury or disease usually qualify for benefits. It’s also important that you notify your employer about injuries and occupational disease diagnoses by the deadlines set by Illinois law:
- 45 days for work-related accidents
- 90 days for serious radiation exposure
- As soon as possible after receiving the diagnosis of a potential work-related disease.
The coronavirus has upended society through shutdowns, quarantines, self-quarantines, hospitalizations and more. Your workers’ comp claim may also be affected by COVID-19, depending on your situation.
What if you currently need to file your workers’ comp claim?
Many government offices have closed or restricted their hours due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. For example, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (the “Commission”) has closed for the entire month of April 2020. However, the Commission is still trying to hear emergency motions and emergency filings.
You may need to file a claim, take a claim to trial, or get a decision on a pending motion. Talk to an attorney about how to proceed with your workers’ comp claim during the coronavirus pandemic.
Will workers’ comp benefits continue if you have COVID-19?
Even though the Commission is closed, any benefits you currently receive should continue. That’s because your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance pays your benefits, not the Commission. If benefits do cease for some reason, you may be able to file with the Commission on an emergency basis. At the same time, it may be wise to explore other benefits, including unemployment benefits as expanded through the recent stimulus package.
Learn More About How COVID-19 Might Affect Your Workers’ Comp Claim
Will the coronavirus pandemic have any effect on your workers’ compensation claim? It may. That’s why it is so important to talk to Osvaldo Rodriguez, an experienced Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer, for an honest assessment of your case. To schedule your free initial consultation, or just ask a question, call us at 708-716-3441 or fill out the form on the Contact Us page.
At Osvaldo Rodriguez, P.C., we represent clients throughout the state of Illinois, including Chicago, Addison, Bellwood, Bensenville, Berwyn, Chicago, Cicero, Elmwood Park, Franklin Park, Maywood, Melrose Park, Northlake, and all of Cook County, Lake County, Kane County, Dupage County, and Will County.
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