Illinois Workers' Compensation 101

As an employer in Illinois, you need to know the specific workers’ compensation insurance laws that will affect your small business. Here are the basics to help you get started.

Top 10 facts about Illinois workers' compensation

  1. Approximately 200,000 work-related accidents occur in Illinois each year. However, in most cases, the worker doesn’t lose time from work.
  2. If you hire or deploy workers in Illinois, you are required by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act to provide workers’ compensation insurance for nearly all workers. However, you may obtain permission to self-insure. If you’re a sole proprietor, business partner, corporate officer, or member of a limited liability company, you may be exempt.
  3. If you knowingly fail to obtain workers’ comp insurance in Illinois, you may be fined up to $500 for every day of noncompliance, with a minimum fine of $10,000. And, corporate officers can be held personally liable if the company fails to pay the penalty to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC).
  4. Illinois has more companies writing workers’ compensation insurance than any other state. The Illinois Department of Insurance’s annual Market Share Report can help you find a provider.
  5. Once you buy workers’ comp insurance, you’ll need to post a Workers’ Compensation Notice in each workplace. The notice must include your insurance carrier’s information.
  6. You must report any work-related injuries and illnesses that result in more than three lost workdays.
  7. If a worker contracts COVID-19 in the course of their employment, they may be eligible for compensations benefits. Read the IWCC’s COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
  8. In Illinois, employers must submit all workers’ comp-related applications, motions, decisions, and reviews through to state’s electronic CompFile system. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and a User’s Manual can help you navigate the process.
  9. Employees must file claims within three years of an accident or two years after the last compensation payment, whichever is later. Here’s a full timeline of workers’ compensation deadlines in Illinois.
  10. The Illinois On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program provides free and confidential workplace health and safety guidance to small businesses. The program can identify workplace hazards and make recommendations for correcting them.

Remember, every situation is different and state workers’ compensation laws are subject to change, so be sure to do your research and speak with a trusted advisor.

Thanks for reading! Please note that this content is intended for educational purposes only. As laws change regularly, you should refer to your state legislation and/or an advisor for specific legal counsel. If you’re a small business owner, learn more about workers’ compensation insurance or check your current rate in 3 minutes.

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