How to Apply for Workers’ Compensation in Cook County

Most Illinois employees are eligible to apply for workers’ compensation benefits after an accident or sustaining injuries on the job. That said, the process is complicated and often confusing without a legal background.

Receiving a denial upon the first application is common. While hiring a qualified workers’ comp attorney is not a requirement, they understand how to apply for workers’ compensation in Cook County and could help you throughout the procedure with sound legal advice.

Seek Medical Attention Immediately and Notify Employers

Seeking immediate medical attention and notifying employers are the first and most crucial steps in collecting workers’ comp benefits. While immediately alerting their business is best, the law states an employee must report to them within 45 days or risk losing eligibility. The notice may be verbal or in writing, and must include the time, place, and circumstances of an accident.

Submit a Claim to the Illinois Workers’ Comp Commission

After seeking treatment from a healthcare professional and notifying the employer, the next step is to submit a claim for benefits. According to the guidance of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, the injured party must file an Application for Adjustment of Claim. Other than submitting the form, the employee must:

  • Prepare all necessary evidence needed to support the claim when there are disputes from the employer or insurer
  • Ensure they submit all the necessary paperwork listed on the application and requested by the agency
  • Attend all status calls and hearings as required
  • Track the status of the case regularly

An attorney knowledgeable about applying for Cook County workers’ comp could provide guidance and answer questions at every stage of the process, from initiation to approval.

Communication With Employers

After employers are notified about a workplace injury, they usually forward a list of approved physicians and medical professionals in the preferred network. After receiving the notice, they have 30 days to notify the insurer and start the process. In addition, the insurance company may reach out for additional information or documentation, and a quick response to their request is essential.

Four fists touching each other over a table with documents

Denial of Benefits and the Next Steps to Take

Receiving a denial of benefits after applying for workers’ comp is relatively standard. Someone may be denied for many reasons, from missing essential deadlines to answering a question incorrectly. Sometimes, the employer or insurer disputes parts of the claim; however, workers can file an appeal.

A worker can also appeal the decision if they disagree with the terms of the approval they receive. If they still do not agree with the reviewed decision, they can appeal further with the Illinois Circuit and Appellate Courts. A lawyer who understands how to apply for workers’ comp in Cook County could also help the individual through these processes.

Talk to an Experienced Attorney About How to Apply for Cook County Workers’ Compensation

State laws protect most workers who sustain injuries while at work. Unfortunately, the process is time-consuming and often stressful. What seems like a minor mistake could result in long-time delays or a denial of benefits.

A hard-working lawyer who knows how to apply for workers’ compensation in Cook County could help you collect the benefits you are entitled to. Call today to schedule an appointment to review your case and begin the application process.