Wheaton, IL Workers’ Comp attorney, workers' comp benefitsIllinois state legislature is considering a set of reforms to workers’ compensation law. These proposals are being criticized for putting workers at a disadvantage.

Details of the Proposed Reform

The proposed changes to the workers’ comp system in Illinois cover a variety of areas, including:

The benefit cuts will reduce the amount that doctors will be paid for certain procedures. This is not the first time benefit cuts have been made. In 2011, the state reduced the amounts paid to doctors and other providers by 30 percent.

The savings expected from the 2011 reforms have not translated into cheaper workers’ compensation insurance premiums paid by employers yet. According to a 2016 study, Illinois has the eighth highest premium rates in the United States.

Criticism of the Proposed Reforms

Critics of the reforms suggest that these proposals will detract from the basic promise of Workers’ Comp—to get workers injured on the job the healthcare they need. If workers cannot get the health care they need, they could turn to Social Security Disability Insurance. If a worker goes on disability, then it is the taxpayers—not the employers and their Workers’ Comp insurers—who will be footing the bill.

Reforms Are Part of a Nationwide Trend

Across the United States, benefits paid by workers’ comp insurers are decreasing. Workers’ comp benefits as a share of payroll are at an all-time low, according to the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI).

This decrease in benefits could be attributed to a decrease in injuries. NASI also attributes the decrease to state policies that make it harder for an employee to receive benefits. For example, Montana, Oklahoma, and West Virginia saw the largest decline in benefits paid. These states also enacted new workers’ compensation laws that significantly changed their systems.

NASI also reports that over the last 24 years the percentage of medical benefits as a share of total workers’ comp benefits paid out has risen by 20 percent.

Contact an Experienced DuPage County Workers’ Comp Lawyer

The Wheaton, IL Workers’ Comp attorney at the Law Offices of David W. Clark, P.C. monitors all proposed changes in the law carefully. If some or all of these measures are adopted, our lawyer will be able to tell you how it will impact your case.

Call 630-665-5678 today to schedule a free evaluation.

Sources:

https://www.nasi.org/sites/default/files/research/WC_Infographic_2016.pdf

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/midwest/2017/01/11/438599.htm

http://chicago.suntimes.com/opinion/editorial-workers-comp-reforms-must-be-fair-to-workers/