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Injured Workers' Benefit Fund Gives Relief When Employer Lacks Insurance

Posted on in Workers' Compensation

Injured Workers' Benefit Fund Gives Relief When Employer Lack InsuranceEmployers make their workers vulnerable when they do not provide the legally required workers’ compensation insurance. Injured workers may struggle to pay their medical expenses, particularly if their injuries prevent them from working. As an injured worker, you can file a lawsuit against your employer if it does not carry workers’ compensation insurance. Illinois provides an alternative compensation source through its Injured Workers’ Benefit Fund. The state maintains the fund with the monetary penalties that it collects from employers without workers’ compensation insurance. However, you must complete an arbitration process to collect from the IWBF, and the benefits can be less than what you would have received from a workers’ compensation settlement.

Receiving IWBF Benefits

Workers are eligible for IWBF pay only if their employers:

  • Did not have workers' compensation insurance; or
  • Refuse to pay the workers’ compensation benefits that were awarded to the worker.

You must file your IWBF claim with the Illinois State Treasurer, which manages the fund. During arbitration, the Illinois Attorney General’s office and possibly your employer will represent the defense, claiming that you should not receive the benefits. If the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission awards you the IWBF benefits, then you have 90 days to respond by filing for the benefits.


The IWBF is not an equal replacement for workers’ compensation benefits. Applying for the benefits can be just as difficult as filing for workers’ compensation, and the benefits may not satisfy your needs:

  • You can go to arbitration to claim IWBF benefits only one time;
  • Because you have only one shot at arbitration, you will likely need to wait until you have reached maximum medical improvement in order to receive proper compensation for permanent disabilities;
  • You may not be able to receive work or medical benefits while you are waiting to file for arbitration;
  • The state pays IWBF benefits only once a year; and
  • The state may not pay your full benefits each year, depending on whether there is enough money in the IWBF.

Your Options

A McHenry County workers’ compensation attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can help you determine whether to pursue IWBF benefits or file a lawsuit against your employer for personal injury compensation. A personal injury lawsuit against your employer is an option in workplace injury cases only if the employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance. Your award in a personal injury lawsuit could be greater because it can include compensation for pain and suffering. To schedule a free consultation, call 815-338-3838.



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