We get a lot of great questions and one common one is from people who have recently been injury at work in Illinois and have never had or even thought about a workers’ compensation claim. The question is, “How long until I get a check for the time that I’m missing from work?”
The answer often depends on your injury and how shady the insurance company is or isn’t. Generally speaking, once you have been off work due to a work related injury, you are supposed to get paid for lost time starting on the 4th calendar day you’ve been off on. So let’s assume you work Monday to Friday and you get hurt on a Wednesday and a doctor immediately takes you off of work. Thursday is day one, Friday is day two, Saturday three and Sunday is the day you start getting paid even though you don’t normally work that date.
If you miss a total of 14 calendar days, not work days, calendar days, then the first three days missed also get paid.
The first check doesn’t come on the first day you miss. It’s supposed to come within two weeks of this happening, but insurance companies will play games with you. Our best advice is that if you are authorized off of work for a long period, say a month, make sure the insurance adjuster gets that off work slip ASAP. Fax and e-mail it if you can. When you don’t get paid they’ll say they didn’t get it and the more ways you send it, the easier it is to refute that.
Going forward, you should get paid every two weeks. I say should because you’ll be shocked at how often checks are late or they “forget” to send them as if it’s something more than just hitting a button on their computer screen to make it happen. That said, you do have to continually provide off work slips and they won’t seek those out if you don’t. When the checks are continually late it’s really a problem only a good lawyer can solve.
So the short answer is that you shouldn’t have much of a delay in getting paid, 2-3 weeks top. The honest answer is that things don’t always work that way and if the insurance company senses that you not getting paid will cause you to lose your house or car, they might purposely delay paying you with the hopes you’ll make a bad decision and ignore your doctor and go back to work.
Bottom line is that if your doctor has you off of work for a work related accident you should be getting paid without delays. If you have problems or just questions call us at (312) 346-5578. It’s always free and confidential.