No. You should not lose your workers’ compensation benefits because you get laid off or fired. That doesn’t mean your employer won’t threaten you with it, or that you won’t get bad advice from someone else out there, but in general your benefits should not stop if you lose your job. Getting fired doesn’t change the fact that you were injured in the course of your employment and that you need your benefits in able to recover and get back into the workforce. This is what the benefits are for, and you are entitled to them under the law.

It’s not illegal for your employer to fire you during your recovery. There is no law that says you can’t be fired while you’re out on workers’ compensation. Employment in Illinois is largely “at will,” which means that you or your employer can end the relationship at any time and for any legal reason.

However, your employer cannot fire you for an illegal reason, which includes discrimination as well as something that’s relevant here – retaliation. Your employer cannot fire you to get back at you for filing a claim for workers’ compensation (or any other legal claim against them). They can’t fire you because they think you might file a claim. In some cases, this is hard to prove. But if your employer tells someone else this is why they fired you, or if they say it to you, then you probably have a good case. The retaliation case would be separate from your workers’ compensation case.

So even if you got hurt because it was your fault, or you were fired because you did something you shouldn’t, the insurance company should continue to pay your workers’ compensation benefits. Your related medical expenses should be covered 100%, and you should receive TTD benefits, which are 2/3 of your average weekly wage while you can’t work. Once you are fully recovered, or at maximum medical improvement (as good as you’re going to get), then your TTD benefits will end.

If you’re worried your benefits will end before you are finished with your recovery, either because you lost your job or because the insurance company is telling you that your benefits will be cut off, talk to an experienced Illinois work injury attorney to find out what’s really going on and what you can do about it.