Republican governor, Bruce Rauner, has proposed significant changes to the Illinois workers’ compensation system that will potentially make it harder for injured workers to obtain benefits after a work injury. While the exact changes are unclear, his agenda aims to save big businesses money and reducing the benefits injured workers receive.
Presently, an employee must prove their injury “arises out of” and “in the course of” their employment. Rauner and his administration propose additional barriers to proving a work-related injury. One proposal includes changing that language to require an employee prove work was a “major contributing cause” to an injury, making it more difficult to prove their injury happened on the job. Rauner also proposes using AMA guidelines as the sole factor to determine disability calculations and awards to injured workers. The AMA guidelines are usually more conservative than other factors and will likely lead to lower disability awards.
Rauner also targets cost cutting measures to reduce the amount of medical fees which physicians receive for the medical services they provide to injured workers. This could potentially impact the level of care injured workers receive leading to some facilities turning away patients if their rates drop.
While the exact changes are still uncertain, Rauner’s objectives pose significant barriers to obtaining benefits for injured workers while saving money for big business. Injured men and women who are hurt at work, without any fault of their own, will bear the burden of these likely changes.
The attorneys at Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid are committed to representing people who have been seriously injured and incur significant medical expenses as a result of work related injuries. Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid continue to handle workers’ compensation claims and all types of other personal injury cases in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Will and Kendall Counties and all throughout the Chicagoland area.