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A Brief Look at the Workers’ Comp Appeals Process

Aug 17, 2021

When you need medical care and time off work due to a job-related injury, you are relying on your workers’ compensation claim to cover your losses. But what happens if your employer informs you that your workers’ comp claim was denied? Fortunately, there is an appeal process, and an experienced Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer can help you navigate it. 

Requesting a Hearing

In many cases, injured workers must first request a hearing from the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC). You will need to properly file a completed application for Adjustment of Claim, as well as serve notice of your appeal to your employer. Once you file your form, the WCC will assign a workers’ comp arbitrator to your case. You have three years from your injury date or two years from your last benefit payment to file this form, but you should never wait this long to start the process. 

If you cannot return to your job yet, and you were denied medical or temporary disability benefits, the law allows you to seek an emergency hearing. This requires a different form to file with the WCC, and it can lead to an answer regarding your appeal within 180 days or sooner. Your attorney can inform you whether your situation is eligible for an expedited hearing.

At your hearing, your employer might be there with an attorney to defend against your claim. This makes it even more critical that you have trusted legal representation of your own. Keep in mind the WCC cannot accompany you to an appeal hearing or give you legal advice. Only an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can do this for you. 

Prior to Your Hearing

You will need to undergo a medical evaluation regarding your workplace injury or illness before your hearing. Either you or your employer can request an exam by an independent medical professional if there is a disagreement with the results of your initial examination.

Your attorney will also prepare for the hearing with you, including going over information they will present and questions you might be asked. It is important to take this preparation seriously, so you have the best chance at prevailing in your appeal. 

The Hearing

You will receive a trial date from the arbitrator, and on that date, you will need to appear with your attorney. The arbitrator will hear your arguments, as well as those of your employer, and they should help you resolve the matter of whether your claim should remain denied or be granted. You will receive the arbitrator’s official decision in 60 days from the date of your trial. 

Speak with an Illinois Workers’ Compensation Attorney

This is a highly simplified overview of what an Illinois workers’ compensation appeal looks like. If you received a claim denial, you should speak with an Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer from The Law Offices of Thomas A. Morrissey as soon as possible. Contact us for a free case evaluation right away. 













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