Illinois Governer J.B. Pritzker took bold executive action this week by extending Workers’ Compensation coverage to all essential front line workers who believe they contracted the Covid-19 virus while on the job. Pritzker amended the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act to allow front line workers to obtain workers compensation coverage without having to prove throught medical testimony that they actually contracted the virus while on the job.
All other Illinois Workers’ Compensation claims require the Petitioner (employee) prove that their injury or condition was caused on the job. Pritzker wants to eliminate that step for essential workers who are putting their health on the line by going into work every day: ““We owe (essential workers) a debt that we can never fully repay. But to start, we can give them the peace of mind to know that they will be covered if they fall ill on the job.” This amendment to the Act covers health care workers, police and fire personnel, corrections officers, grocery store workers and food producers.
Illinois work comp benefits can include payment of all related medical bills, lost wages (2/3 of your average weekly wage), and permanent disability lump some payments once you are allowed to go back to work.
I applaud Governer Pritzker for taking this step to provide protection to our front line workers. There are no doubt hundreds, if not thousands, of essential workers who will become infected with Covid-19. Allowing employers to deny these claims would be a disservice to these people who are putting their lives on the line day in and day while we deal with this global pandemic.
If you or a loved one was injured at work or has an Illinois Workers’ Compensation claim or a Chicago work accident, then call Chicago work comp lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.