What You Need to Know About Workers' Comp Penalties

Workers’ comp penalties are designed to protect employees from unfair delay, unreasonable and vexatious conduct by the workers compensation insurance carrier. Employers and their insurance companies must exercise a certain degree of discretion when determining which claims to accept and which claims have a basis to support a denial of benefits. If you have been a victim of unfair delay or unreasonable and vexatious conduct by the workers compensation insurance company Sections 19L and 19K of the Workers Compensation Act should be consulted.

Under Section 19 of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, employers may be held liable for failing to provide timely payment of TTD and medical benefits. Specifically, section 19(L) and 19(K) set forth, in part, the parameters insurance companies are to follow when adjusting workers compensation claims and paying or denying the payment of workers compensation benefits.

Here’s what you need to know about the workers’ comp legislation:

  • Section 19(l)
    • This section relates to the timely payment of workers’ comp TTD and medical benefits. Once an injured employee sends a written request to his or her employer for workers’ compensation TTD benefits the employer has 14 days to provide an explanation for the delay. For requests of medical benefits under Section 8(a), the employer’s 14-day limit will start 30 days after the demand for medical bill payment.
    • If the employer fails to provide a written response within 14 days from a TTD demand, the employer will be penalized $30 per day with a maximum penalty under 19L of $35,000. 19L penalties are mandatory, not discretionary.
  • Section 19(k)
    • This section refers to an employers unreasonable or vexatious delay of payment, intentional underpayment of benefits or the employer undertakes legal proceedings which do not represent a real controversy, the employer may be liable for Section 19K penalties. Unreasonable and vexatious delay of benefit payments may give rise to Section 19K penalties.
    • Under this section, employees may be able to obtain additional compensation from employers who have acted unreasonably. The granting of 19K penalties is discretionary. 19K penalties are calculated based off of 50% of the total amount awarded to the claimant.

Knowledgeable & Aggressive Workers’ Comp Lawyers in Chicago

If you were injured at work, Leonard Law Group can provide diligent representation. The workers’ compensation claim process can be complicated, especially if your employer is being difficult and refusing to provide the payment you need. Our Chicago workers’ comp attorneys have thorough and up-to-date knowledge of the Illinois workers compensation legal system. From start to finish, we will uphold your rights and fight on your behalf.

For a free case review, contact our officetoday.

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