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Independent Contractors and Illinois Workers Compensation

Independent Contractors and Illinois Workers CompensationWe often receive calls from workers who were hurt on the job in Illinois, but are not receiving Illinois work injury benefits because their employer has classified them as an independent contractor. In many cases, such a classification has turned out to be wrong. Don't rely on what your employer says. You could be missing out on significant benefits available to you under Illinois workers' compensation law.

If you contact us, we will talk to you about whether you're really an independent contractor, as well as recommend an attorney who can help you go after your benefits. The workers' compensation attorneys we recommend have a track record of success in cases of denied or underpaid benefits. A work injury can cause a lot of stress, and a serious one can prevent you from working at all. We know how important workers' compensation benefits can be, and our goal is to find you the best lawyer possible, especially if you've been told that you aren't eligible for benefits.

In reality, whether you can receive workers' compensation benefits isn't based on what your employer tells you or even you signing a document that says you are an independent contractor. Instead, the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission looks at a variety of factors in determining whether someone is truly an independent contractor or just one in name only. Your attorney might ask you some of the following questions:

  • Did your employer take taxes out of your check?
  • Were you exclusively bound to the employer or could you work for whomever you wanted to?
  • Was a uniform provided?
  • Were tools or other materials provided?
  • Were you given instructions on how to do your job or did you make those decisions?
  • Did you set your own hours?

This isn't an absolute list, but the general idea is that the more control your employer has over you, them more likely it is that you're an employee (and eligible for benefits). It's called “right of control.” The reason for this analysis is to prevent employers from avoiding their responsibility to carry work injury insurance.

For example, imagine a worker who sustained a back injury on the job, but was paid through a 1099 tax form. If his boss owned ABC construction company and the worker could only work for ABC, had to show up at a specific time every day and was given instructions on how to complete a task along with tools, the worker likely would be able to receive benefits under Illinois workers compensation law.

If you have questions about whether or not you are an independent contractor, have questions about your job injury or would like a referral to a workers' compensation lawyer, please do not hesitate to contact us. All calls are free, confidential and the work injury attorneys in Illinois that we recommend only charge a fee if they make a recovery for you.