Illinois Workers Compensation Study: How Much Do Workers Receive After an Injury?

workers compensation - personal injury attorneyIt’s easy to forget that most U.S. workers in the 21st century enjoy tremendous job protections compared to workers of the not-so-distant past, when a little bit of asbestos, silica, or lead exposure was just a normal part of a hard day’s work. Even so, that doesn’t mean that it is easy to file a workers’ compensation claim, no matter how clear-cut your case may seem. At Franks Gerkin McKenna, our injury lawyers believe workers deserve access to all the information they can find before, during, and after an accident on the job.

As Northern Illinois work injury lawyers, we find that many people are curious how Illinois workers’ comp fees compare to other states. Fortunately, the Workers Compensation Research Institute just released a new report on how compensation fees in Illinois compare to both Medicare payment rates and other states’ fees in 2015. The new report, “Evaluation of the 2015 Fee Schedule Rates in Illinois,” provides some valuable information for injured workers or anyone who wants to learn more about Illinois workers’ compensation rates.

Before we get into the meat of the study, let’s review some of the major findings:

  • Even though Illinois moved down in the state rankings since July 2011, the state remains on the high end of the spectrum overall.
  • The compensation fee schedule rates for Illinois workers varies widely depending on the type of injury and care needed.
  • On average, workers’ compensation fee schedule rates in Illinois in 2015 were 69% higher than Medicare rates for the same medical services over the same time period.

Report: Workers’ Comp Illinois by the Numbers

If you’ve ever been injured in the workplace, then you know just how difficult it is to deal with the bureaucracy, paperwork, and laws surrounding workers’ compensation, especially while simultaneously dealing with an injury.

You also wouldn’t be alone in wondering if the rules were designed to be incredibly complicated in order to discourage people like you from seeking compensation in the first place. That is why it is so important to translate reports like these into everyday English. Every worker in the state should be able to arm themselves with the best information available.

So where does this information come from? Workers Compensation Research Institute pulled compensation fee schedules for common medical services from the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. Furthermore, WorkersCompensation.com writes that the report specifically examined the services provided by “professional medical services, hospital outpatient, and ambulatory surgery center (ASC) facility services related to surgical procedures, and hospital inpatient services.”

In everyday English? The amount of workers’ comp payments you’ll receive in Illinois depends greatly on what type of injury you have suffered from. For instance, for routine evaluation medical services, compensation fee rates are very close to standard Medicare rates. That means workers would hardly receive more compensation than they would with basic Medicare coverage. However, workers’ compensation fees for major surgery were 339% above Medicare rates.

For other serious injuries, Illinois workers’ compensation rates were also far above Medicare rates. In 2015, injured workers receiving outpatient services for knee and shoulder surgeries were 157% and 110% higher than Medicare rates for knee and shoulder surgery on average. For serious inpatient hospital stays, the state set rates anywhere from 54-119% above Medicare.

While it is helpful for workers to know exactly what they can expect following a workplace injury, that knowledge is little help if your claim is denied. And sadly, many injury lawyers hear from workers who were fired after being injured at work.

If you’ve been injured on the job, and especially if you’ve lost wages because of an injury, please read our workers’ compensation FAQs or contact our worker injury lawyers at Franks Gerkin McKenna today for more information.