If you work a job and have regular health insurance and get fired, you will be losing that health insurance. If you get fired from a job, they will stop sending paycheck for wages because you won’t be working. So some people think that if you are fired after a job injury in Illinois that you will lose your work comp rights. The good news is that isn’t true. In fact you get some rights that you might not even believe.
Under Illinois law, if you are injured on the job, you are entitled to payment of 100% of your medical bills that are related to the job injury/accident. So if you get hurt October 1 and get fired November 1 (or whenever), you continue to get your work comp bills paid for as long as you need treatment. That could last for a few weeks or it could last for years or even the rest of your life.
The same is true with temporary total disability payments (TTD) on Illinois work comp cases. If you have a work injury and any restrictions from your doctor from being off work to working light duty, if you are fired, the insurance company will continue to owe you TTD benefits. This, like with health benefits, can last for weeks, months, years or the rest of your life. As long as you have restrictions and haven’t been discharged from medical care, they have to keep paying you because they took the job away from you.
Now I mentioned earlier that you’d have some rights you wouldn’t believe. Get this. It doesn’t matter why the employer fired you. Whatever the reason, you will continue to get TTD. You can tell them to f off (I don’t recommend this), not show up for work, be a pain in the ass, start a fight (also not a recommendation), sleep on the job or do anything else that would cause people to agree you should be fired. Even with that, your TTD benefits will continue.
Being terminated doesn’t affect any work comp benefits or at least it shouldn’t. This includes your ability to get a settlement after your treatment is done. In fact, many times being fired will make the case worth more money.
Note that this advice has to do with being fired. If you quit, you will continue to get medical care, but likely would lose TTD pay (unless your doctor says you can’t do any work) and will potentially reduce the value of your settlement. This is why some companies will say that you quit or resigned instead of outright firing you. They are trying to screw you over to save a couple bucks. My advice is that if this happens to you, immediately, and in writing, notify them that you did not quit or resign. We can help you draft that letter and make sure you do it in a way that protects you as much as possible. Contact us any time for free if you need help.