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We get a lot of great questions from clients and readers of our blog. There is a lot of information that we feel people should know about Illinois workers’ compensation cases. Here is a selection of some questions we’ve received in 2022.

I’m currently on workman comp. If you do not show up for work because of the injury do they have to pay you?

The insurance company only has to pay you if you are authorized off work by a doctor and the company doesn’t have work within your restrictions. You might know that you are so injured that you can’t do the work, but you still need a doctor’s note in order to get TTD benefits.
If my employer pays me weekly, shouldn’t the insurance company pay me weekly as well?
What this worker meant is that they got weekly pay checks when working, but they only get paid twice a month for their off work benefits (TTD). Unfortunately there is no way to make the insurance company pay you more frequently than that as twice a month or every other week is the standard.
My case went to trial and we won. The other side is appealing. Should I get a different lawyer for that?
This is a really savvy question, but the answer is no.  Handling the appeal is part of what you hired the lawyer for in the first place and is rather common in Illinois work comp cases that go to trial. Your lawyer knows your case very well and while keeping them doesn’t guarantee a result, it’s likely smarter to do that than to pay some other firm to handle the appellate process.
I’ve been on work comp for three years now. Is there a cost of living adjustment with all the inflation going on or an increase to the current rate of pay in my profession?
Unfortunately there isn’t while the case is going on. That said, if you can’t return to work and you get a wage differential settlement, it would be based on what you currently would be making in your profession. And if you are declared to be permanently disabled at trial, there would be a cost of living increase provided by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.
How long does it take to get a pre-trial and how long does that last?
A pre-trial is a conference between the lawyers and the Arbitrator. Each side tells the Arbitrator their version of what’s going on and what they think the evidence will show if the case goes to trial. The Arbitrator then makes a non-binding recommendation. You can usually get a pre-trial whenever you want as long as the other attorney is cooperative and it’s the right time to do it. In other words, you wouldn’t have a pre-trial at a time when there aren’t disputes in the case such as a surgery not being approved. Every pre-trial is different, but most don’t last longer than 15-2o minutes because it’s an informal process and the Arbitrator wants to get through their day.
Is there a time frame or requirement for when vocational rehabilitation begins after your doctor says you are MMI?
Another savvy question by an injured worker. What they are asking is after a doctor says there’s nothing else they can do for you and the company doesn’t have a job for you, how long does it take for the insurance to provide assistance in finding you a job within your restrictions. The answer is that there is no set time limit. Vocational rehabilitation is part of medical care and it’s up to you to initiate the process.  If your injury is this serious, the smartest thing to do is have a lawyer recommend a good counselor to guide you through the process or you can start the process by looking for work yourself.  The sooner you start, the better.
Can a physical therapist excuse you from work?
As stated above, to get paid for being off work you need a doctor’s note. Theoretically a physical therapist can say you are unable to perform work, but if you want to get paid work comp benefits, the smart thing to do would be to take the note to whichever doctor referred you to the PT and have them put in writing that you can’twork.
We really do love helping people even if we aren’t going to be your lawyer. If you have any questions or want to discuss representation, please contact us at any time.