Many people ride trains and subways in Illinois every day, but they may not give much thought to those who maintain these transportation systems. Railroad workers perform important duties behind the scenes to ensure that these tracks are in good operating condition. However, railroad work can also be dangerous, as one recent incident shows.
There is nothing scarier for a Peoria resident than losing the ability to provide for their family. A person may have a spouse, kids, and even others who count on them to bring home a paycheck and keep food on the table. When they suffer workplace injuries and have to take time off work to heal, they may find themselves in exactly the position that they were afraid of.
In Illinois, workers are hurt and killed while on the job every year. Whether it's in a warehouse, a heavy manufacturing facility or a healthcare setting - or any workplace - safety is crucial for all people who are on the job. Although Illinois workers see some of the lowest workplace fatality rates in the United States, there is still much that can be done to improve overall safety for workers in the state. Those who are injured can rely on workers' compensation for medical and financial assistance.
Illinois does not have a workers' compensation fund -- at least not in the sense that it compensates with insurers to offer coverage to employers required to carry workers' compensation insurance. Nationally, about half the states have funds that will pay workers' compensation benefits when an employee is injured on the job. In four jurisdictions, the state is the sole provider of workers' compensation insurance. In the rest of the fund states, the state fund compensates with private insurers, ostensibly keeping premiums reasonable across the board.
The Illinois workers' compensation system may be headed for major reforms, but it is not yet clear how those reforms will ultimately work.
When one suffers an injury while they are on the job in Illinois, they generally must rely on workers' compensation to cover medical expenses and recuperate wages lost due to the injury. Unfortunately, the workers' comp system is not always all that easy to navigate, nor is the workers' compensation system always looking out for one's best interests.
When a worker in Illinois is injured on the job -- performing their work duties at their place of work -- they can look to the workers' compensation system for assistance. Workers' compensation benefits can help to pay for medical expenses, replace lost wages and to compensate injured workers for a reduction in the their ability to do their job. In cases where the injury prevents a worker from returning to work for an extended period or results in a long-term disability, the worker may also qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.