Illinois workers who are injured on the job have the right to workers’ compensation benefits for hours of work lost and for medical expenses. If the employer fails to pay the compensation owed, then the benefits can be paid by the Injured Workers’ Benefit Fund (IWBF).
The IWBF was created in 2005 to compensate injured workers whose employers fail to pay workers’ compensation benefits. It is funded directly from penalties that employers must pay if they fail to carry required workers’ compensation insurance, and the money is used to help workers who may not otherwise receive benefits due to their employer’s uninsured or underinsured state. Cases are reviewed, and funds disbursed, by the Illinois Division of Insurance Compliance. If there are insufficient funds to cover all the claims that are submitted, then distribution of benefits takes place on a pro rata basis.
Injured workers may apply for IWBF benefits if they have already received a final workers’ compensation award, and their employer failed both to pay the benefits and to carry proper workers’ compensation insurance.
Specific procedures and requirements apply to IWBF benefits. If you were injured at work, consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to learn more about your rights.