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Who must carry workers’ compensation in Illinois?

As a worker in Illinois, it is essential to your financial and physical health that you thoroughly understand state workers’ compensation laws. If you do not, you may unwittingly forfeit your rights to compensation. Unfortunately, many workers assume that the state does not require their employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. According to, however, this is likely not the case.

In almost every employment situation, the state of Illinois mandates that employers carry workers’ comp coverage. This is the case even if a company employs a single, part-time employee. Failure for an employer to carry workers’ compensation insurance may result in civil and even criminal penalties, beginning with a $500 fine for each day an employer goes without coverage.

Of course, every employment situation is unique. For this reason, Illinois workers’ compensation laws address exclusive circumstances as well.

If a sole proprietor, corporate officer, business partner or member of an LLC wishes to opt-out of workers’ comp coverage, he or she must notify the carrier in writing. The notification must explain the business’s reason for foregoing coverage.

Illinois requires businesses that are in high-risk industries to carry workers’ compensation for both employees and themselves. High-risk industries include trucking, construction and manufacturing.

If a person employs a domestic worker for household chores for a minimum of 40 hours a week and for at least 13 weeks a year, he or she must provide workers’ compensation. The same is true if a person employs family members. An exception to the latter is if the family members live together.

This article is for educational purposes only. You should not use it as legal advice.