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The Effect Of COVID-19 On Illinois Workers’ Compensation Claims

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With the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, some employees may wonder whether or not they could file workers’ compensation claims if they contract COVID-19 within the scope of their employment. Does the state of Illinois allow the filing of workers’ compensation claims based on contracting COVID-19? This article will provide some information regarding COVID-19 related workers’ compensation claims for Illinois employees.

  1. In Illinois, you can receive workers’ compensation for any disease or injury arising out of and in the course of employment that results in you missing three or more days of work. If you contract COVID-19 within the course of your employment and it causes you to miss three or more days of work, you can receive benefits for the amount of work you missed, even after you return to work.
  2. In order to receive workers’ compensation benefits based on contracting COVID-19, you will need to show that you contracted the disease while working. According to 820 ILCS 310(1)(d), a disease is contracted while working if it is apparent to a rational person, upon consideration of all the circumstances, that there exists a causal connection between the conditions under which the work is performed and the contraction of the disease.
  3. You may be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits even if you were also at risk for COVID-19 outside of your workplace. 820 ILCS 310(1)(d) states that the disease need not be foreseen or expected so long as after its contraction it is apparent that it originated or was aggravated by a risk that was connected to your employment and “flowed” from that source as a rational consequence.
  4. If you are a first responder or front-line worker and contract COVID-19, there is a rebuttable presumption that you contracted it while working. 820 ILCS 310(1)(g)(1) states that the contraction of COVID-19 will be presumed to be causally connected to the hazards or exposures of the employee’s first responder or front-line employment. According to 820 ILCS 310(1)(g)(4), this presumption only applies to cases where an employee was diagnosed with COVID-19 between March 9, 2020, and December 31, 2020. This rebuttable presumption can be challenged by your employer.
  5. According to the Occupational Diseases Act (820 ILCS 310), first responders and front-line workers are composed of the following individuals:
  1. Police
  2. Fire personnel
  3. Emergency medical technicians
  4. Paramedics
  5. All individuals specifically employed as first responders
  6. All workers for health care providers (including nursing home, rehabilitation facility, and home care workers)
  7. Corrections officers
  8. Any individuals employed by essential business and operations as defined in Illinois’ “Executive Order 2021-10”

Do You Have a Stagnant Workers’ Compensation Claim? Contact a Chicago Personal Injury Attorney 

Sometimes the workers’ compensation process can take a lot longer than you initially anticipated. This is where Connolly Injury Law can help. We will ensure that your claim is processed in a timely manner so that you receive the compensation you are entitled to. Reach out to our Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers today for help.

Resources:

ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2431&ChapterID=68

illinois.gov/Pages/Executive-Orders/ExecutiveOrder2021-10.aspx

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