George L. Tamvakis Law Firm

Workers Compensation Claims Overview

A. What are the time limits within which an employee must file a claim at the Industrial Commission?

Workers compensation claims must be filed within three years after an injury, or within two years following the last workers' compensation payment, whichever is later.

Failure to file a claim within the time provided by the law generally results in a loss of benefits.

B. Who presides over workers' compensation claims?

An arbitrator appointed by the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission acts as fact-finder and judge, conducts the hearing, and decides on the amount of benefits to which an employee is entitled.

C. Is it possible to appeal the arbitrator's decision?

Yes. The employee and employer both have the right to appeal a decision if dissatisfied with the Arbitrator's decision. In most cases, a panel of three Commissioners will review the Arbitrator's decision.

Either party can then appeal the Commissioner's decision to the Circuit Court and, from there, to the Industrial Commission Division of the Appellate Court. In some cases, further appeal may be taken to the Illinois Supreme Court.

D. Can the parties settle a claim for compensation benefits?

Yes, claims may be settled between the parties, provided the settlements are approved by the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission. All settlements must have The Commission's approval.

*** This information is intended to serve only as a general overview of the rights of employees who have had work-related injuries. This information provides a brief overview of the rights of injured employees as set forth under the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act. This information does not constitute legal advice and does not represent all the rights as set forth under the Illinois Workers' Condensation Act.

It is not intended to explain all the benefits or conditions pertaining to specific cases. Each individual case has to be evaluated by applying the law to the facts of each case.

Portions of this information were excerpted from the Illinois Industrial Commission Handbook on Workers' Compensation.