When a worker in Peoria is injured on-the-job, they may feel it is obvious that their claim for workers' compensation benefits should be approved. However, sometimes, workers in Illinois find that their initial claim for benefits is denied. But, this is not the end of the story. There are processes in which a worker can appeal a denied workers' compensation claim.
First, the worker will report the injury to their employer. Following that, the employer will report the injury to the Commission, if the injury results in more than three days of lost work. After that, the Commission will mail the injured worker a handbook letter. After that, the parties may resolve their case.
Though, if the case is not resolved at that point, the worker can file a claim at the Commission. The claim will be arbitrated. The arbitrator may settle the case or dismiss the case.
If either party is unsatisfied with the arbitrator's decision, they can appeal the decision to the commissioner panel. The Commissioner may settle the case or dismiss the case.
If the panel issues a decision that either party is not satisfied with, then the case can be appealed to the Circuit Court. The Circuit Court will issue an opinion, and if either party finds that opinion unsatisfactory, they can appeal to the Appellate Court.
The Appellate Court will issue an opinion, and if either party does not agree with it, they can appeal to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court will issue a final opinion on the case, as there are no further levels of appeal.
Keep in mind that this process is not always linear -- cases can go back and forth, and there may be addition hearings should motions be made. Therefore, the appeals process may not follow the above timeline exactly. Yet, it is important that those facing a denied workers' compensation claim understand the appeals process, so they can make decisions regarding their case that are in their best interests.