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Rockford Illinois Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Injured on the job? Why your worker classification matters

Injuries or illnesses suffered on the job that affect your ability to work can be very upsetting. Not only can your condition be painful, it can also lead to lost wages and increased medical expenses. As such, securing workers’ compensation can be crucial to ease the financial burden of a work-related condition.

However, not every worker in Illinois is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. As we discussed in our last post, one factor that affects your benefits if you are injured on the job is your worker classification.

Why might a workers' compensation claim be denied?

Workers' compensation benefits can prove to be a critical resource for injured employees. Not only do these benefits cover eligible medical expenses, but they can also replace a portion of your wages.

As such, it can be very upsetting to learn that benefits could be in jeopardy because of a disputed claim or denial. Below, we examine some of the common reasons why disputes arise involving workers' compensation claims and what workers can do to avoid or address them.

What makes a condition disabling, according to the SSA?

Medical evidence

To determine disability, the SSA will review closely the medical evidence you submit with your application. This includes tests, treatments, statements from your doctors and medical records. They use this information to determine if your condition is severe and if it is likely to last for at least 12 months.

The SSA will also check if your condition is on the list of disabling conditions.

Your ability to perform any job

The SSA will also assess whether your condition prohibits you from performing your job or any other job. It will consider any transferable skills, your education background and other factors that determine whether you can adjust to other occupations.

Work history

To qualify for SSDI, applicants must have a work history that is long enough and recent enough to earn sufficient work credits. These credits accumulate based on your annual wages or income, with a maximum of four credits per year. Generally speaking, the older you are when you become disabled, the more credits you need to have earned.

Based on all this information, the SSA will make a determination on whether you are disabled and qualify for SSDI.

Considering how complicated this process is -- and how high the financial stakes may be -- it can be vital to consult an attorney who understands the Social Security and disability benefits systems. With legal support, you can avoid costly missteps and assumptions that could jeopardize benefits you may deserve.

Are you allergic to work? Contact dermatitis and the workplace

Is something at work giving you a rash? You're not allergic to work, but you may be allergic to a substance that's in your workplace. Both allergic and irritant contact dermatitis cause rashes with severe itching and can damage the top layers of your skin. You may also experience burning, pain and raised blisters or bumps.

Irritants with a potential to cause dermatitis that are common in workplaces include:

Can you claim workers' comp after a car accident?

When you're injured on the job, you are entitled to workers' compensation to help with lost wages, medical bills, and other expenses. What if you're injured while driving, though?

Niles, Illinois, police officer Rodney Whiteman asked himself this question when his squad car was struck by another vehicle in 2016. As a police officer, driving a patrol car is part and parcel to Whiteman's job, and in early 2018 he was awarded roughly $32,000 in workers' comp.

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