Can I still receive Illinois workers’ comp benefits if I didn’t miss work?

If you gave your employer timely notification of your injury or illness and you meet the eligibility requirements below, you’re likely still eligible to receive some Illinois workers’ compensation benefits even if you didn’t miss work. Although filing a claim can be complicated, it’s important that you receive proper compensation and benefits for an injury or illness you sustained at work, even if it requires filing a lawsuit.

If you’ve experienced an on-the-job injury, an Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer from Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates can help. Continue reading to learn more about the requirements to receive workers’ compensation benefits in Illinois, and how an attorney can help support you through every step of the process.

illinois workers comp benefits

What are workers’ compensation benefits?

The purpose of workers’ compensation benefits are to compensate you for some of your lost wages, current medical costs, future anticipated medical costs, and possibly some of your lost future wages associated with your on-the-job injury; these are called “damages”. In Illinois, the rights to these benefits and regulations to be followed are governed by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.

It’s important that you collect evidence to support your claim of an on-the-job injury or illness, especially for collecting compensation for the long-term medical costs linked to your injury. This will likely require that you consult with a medical expert who will assess your injury to determine what future treatments you might need.

Workers’ compensation insurance companies will do whatever they can to deny your claim, and they will try to settle for less than you deserve. If you’ve received an offer of settlement for your on-the-job injury, it’s imperative that you’ve had experts assess your complete damages before accepting because accepting a settlement offer will prevent you from pursuing any additional or future damages linked to your injuries not contained in the offer. This includes filing a lawsuit.


In order to file a claim and be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission rules, you must meet the following conditions:

  • You have worked for an employer whose business is covered by Illinois workers’ compensation law and is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
  • Your claim for injury or illness must be from an incident or accident that occurred from your duties in the course of their job description.
  • You must give your employer proper notice of the injury or illness. Notice may be given orally or in writing, and it must include certain details, including the approximate date and location of the accident (if possible). It’s recommended that you provide written notice and keep a copy for your own records.
  • You must give your employer notice of the injury or illness within 45 days of the incident, injury, or illness.

If you meet the above eligibility requirements, you may submit your claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission within three years of your injury or illness, or within two years after the last benefit was received from your employer (whichever comes later).

If you received medical care but didn’t miss any work, your medical bills should still be covered by workers’ compensation.


There are exceptions to workers’ compensation benefits that can limit or prohibit your ability to collect, including:

  • If your injury was caused due to your intoxication from alcohol or the abuse of a controlled substance
  • If the injuries sustained while you engaged in the active commission of a forcible felony or reckless homicide
  • If your injuries were sustained while driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, intoxicating compounds, or any combination of these
  • Any injury, disease, or death that results from the administration of a vaccine
  • Accidental injuries experienced while you were in a rehabilitation program, even if your employer is paid for all or part of the rehabilitation program
  • Accidental injuries while you were participating in voluntary recreational programs like athletic events, picnics, or parties

Having trouble receiving workers’ compensation benefits? We can help.

The experienced Illinois workers’ compensation attorneys at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates are available to explore your options for your workers’ compensation claim, or on your appeal if your claim has been denied. Call us at (800) 985-1819 or contact us through our website to schedule your free consultation.