Want to hear something scary? Workers in Illinois have received thousands of tax-free dollars in workers’ compensation with what amounts to a doctor’s note.
According to a report in the Belleville News-Democrat, cases that have involved wrist or elbow issues with municipal and private workers have been resolved without the affected worker needing surgery, treatment, or even legal representation.
Information from the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission database reveals that 95% of 3,500 private and public workers outside the city of Chicago who chose not to hire lawyers received settlements in 2010 without any of the usual administration process – a process which takes weeks or months everywhere else in the country.
The database did not list awards by any of the fifteen arbitrators based in Chicago.
According to the commissions chairperson, going forward uncontested claims will not be approved until after they’ve been assigned a case number, logged into the database, and subjected to public review.