It can be beyond frustrating when your Illinois work comp benefits are denied or delayed without reason.  We get that. And we push back against any denial that is improper.

A caller to my office wanted to know if it was “right for benefits to not be paid” even though she’s been off work for over two weeks.

Morally it’s very wrong for an insurance company or employer to mess with her like that.  What you can’t expect is for an insurance company to ever make a moral decision when it comes to your case.  Morally it’s very wrong for them to not have paid her.  Business wise, it makes sense, at least when it comes to their best interests.

The injured worker was scheduled for an independent medical exam (“IME”) in a couple of weeks.  So the insurance company is delaying her payment until that happens.  If the IME is in their favor they’ll keep denying benefits.  If it’s against them, they will pay.  Morally it’s wrong and legally it’s wrong too.  The problem is that by the time we or any attorney could get in to court the IME will have come and gone and the issue will be somewhat moot.

So we can file a petition for penalties due to the unreasonable delay in payment.  We can threaten you won’t go to the IME without a check.  The reality is that they are treating you as a player in a game.

You’ll find that many immoral things like this can happen.  Don’t expect them to have morals. The key for you is to not lose your morals.  Don’t lie to the doctor about how you are feeling.  Don’t embellish or exaggerate your symptoms. Let them be immoral.  You live your life the right way.

After that, especially if the IME cuts you off, it’s our job to fight and protect you and that’s what we will do.  Not every case is a nasty battle, but many of them are.  We don’t look to rock the boat if not needed, but we also aren’t going to let you get pushed around.

This is all annoying when you just want to get better, get back to work and know that your bills will be paid.  We can’t promise you a result, but we promise that we get it and we’ll do whatever we can to make it right.