Is workers’ compensation state or federal law?

Injured Federal Worker Filling Out PaperworkMost Illinois employees are covered under state workers' compensation statutes. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act requires all public or private employers, state agencies, firms, school districts, and cities and villages that have any person in service to provide workers’ compensation coverage—even those with only one employee. However, there are a few exceptions depending on the job description and the work performed.

Exemptions to Illinois State Workers Compensation Laws

Illinois workers who are not covered under state workers' compensation may qualify for benefits through a federal law. On the other hand, some residents may be exempt from both forms of workers’ compensation, and may have to file a lawsuit to receive payment for a work-related injury.

For example, state workers’ compensation benefits do not apply to:

  • Federal employees. Postal workers and other U.S. government employees can collect medical costs, wage replacement, vocational retraining, and disability benefits through the Federal Employees' Compensation Act.
  • Chicago police officers. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act covers all police officers and firefighters in cities with fewer than 500,000 people. As a result, Chicago firefighters and police officers will have to seek payment under the Illinois Pension Code, the Public Safety Employee Benefits Act (PSEBA), and other legislation.
  • Real estate brokers. State law specifically bars real estate brokers, salesman, or any person performing real estate services who is paid by commission only from collecting workers’ compensation.
  • Independent contractors. Independent contractors are not considered employees under state law, and are therefore ineligible for workers’ compensation. However, just because your employer has classified you as an independent contractor does not mean you are exempt from benefits.
  • Farm workers. Many farm workers are exempt from workers’ compensation benefits, but some may be eligible for payments depending on the nature of their employment.

If you have been injured on the job, we can examine the facts of your case and advise you on your next steps at no cost to you. Contact the Illinois workers' compensation attorneys at Tapella & Eberspacher today at (855) 522-5291 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your free consultation.