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Picking your doctor for a workers’ compensation claim in Illinois

When you’ve suffered an on-the-job injury, good medical care is essential for both your health and your career — but where do you start?

Here’s an overview of how the workers’ compensation system works in Illinois.

You can choose your own physician — within limits

Generally, you can pick your treating physician — which is a privilege not enjoyed in many other states. However, you want to choose wisely because there are some limitations on your choice:

  • If your employer has a Preferred Provider Program (PPP), you can choose a doctor within that group and retain the right to switch to a second doctor within the plan.
  • If your employer is not part of a PPP, you can choose any two doctors you like as your primary care physician or for a second opinion.
  • If your employer has a PPP and you don’t want to use a doctor in that plan, you can still see your own physician — but that will limit your ability to obtain a second opinion.
  • If you choose to get a second opinion outside of your employer’s PPP (or a third opinion if your employer doesn’t have a PPP) you have to pay for the visit yourself.

Whatever your decision, your primary medical provider will be in charge of referring you to other physicians, e .g., specialists, on an as-needed basis. In addition, your employer can require you to see a doctor of their choosing for a consultative evaluation — which can later be used to dispute your workers’ comp claim or limit your benefits.

When your employer is making your workers’ comp difficult

Some employers are great about workers’ comp claims — and some employers (or their insurers) will go out of their way to make a claim as difficult as possible. You can fight back. If you need help with a workers’ comp claim, talk to an attorney today.