I’m a big believer that small sample sizes don’t mean much.  For example, a basketball player might score 20 points in three straight games, but that does not mean that they are a 20 point scorer, especially if over a full season they average eight points.
So when I see an uptick in certain types of calls I usually relate that to a coincidence.  That’s probably true in this case, but I do find it odd that I’ve had more people call me in the last month telling me that they were robbed at gun point than I did in the previous 12 months.
Whatever the reason for this happening, it must be a frightening thing to go through.  When cutting to the chase, as most callers want to do, the question is usually, “Can I get Illinois workers’ compensation benefits?”   The answer depends on the person.
Most people tell me that they are too scared to return to work.  I don’t blame them.  I would be too.  But just like you can’t take yourself off work for a back injury without seeing a doctor and expect to get paid, you can’t do that for a psychological injury either.
So if this does happen to you and you are having nightmares, can’t sleep or feel really anxious about going back to work, the proper thing to do is get medical care.  First off it’s for your health.  Second, if you do want workers comp benefits, you need a doctor to give you a diagnosis and recommendation.  That’s how the system works.
Some people are able to get therapy and head back to their old job.  Others are never able to.  In those cases you often can get vocational rehabilitation which is job search assistance paid for by the insurance company.  It really depends on your background and work capabilities.
But the bottom line is that if you do have this happen, you have options.  Just like any other work injury, all of your bills will have to be paid for by the insurance company.  It doesn’t matter that you don’t have a physical injury.  All work related injuries are covered under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.  The worst thing you could do is ignore the problem.  You’d go to a doctor if a bone was sticking out of your leg.  You should do the same if you need any other type of help.

By Michael Helfand