The Chicago Employment Law Blog

New Illinois Workers' Compensation Law Limits Benefits for Some

Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a new Illinois workers' compensation bill that will ban benefits for those convicted of certain crimes.

According to the Decatur Tribune, the governor signed Senate Bill 1147 that will prevent workers convicted of serious crimes from claiming workers' compensation benefits for injuries resulting from those crimes. The new law will prevent workers from receiving benefits if they were injured while committing a forcible felony, aggravated DUI, or reckless homicide.

Governor Quinn said that the new law will ensure that those injured while performing their jobs will receive benefits, while those injured while committing a crime will not stand to benefit, reports the Tribune.

Senate Bill 1147 was passed in response to a fatal accident in 2007. An Illinois state trooper, Matt Mitchell, was speeding while texting on his cell phone when he veered into the opposite lane of traffic and struck and killed two sisters. Mitchell pled guilty to reckless homicide, but soon after his conviction, he applied for workers’ compensation benefits for the injuries he sustained in the fatal accident.

This new Illinois workers’ compensation law will ensure that people like Matt Mitchell will be unable to collect workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured while committing a crime.

Senate Bill 1147 is the second piece of legislation that Governor Quinn has signed in a little over a month that limits workers’ compensation benefits. In June, he signed into law House Bill 1698 that reduces the amount that businesses have to pay to treat injured workers and limits the types of treatment options available to injured workers.

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