The Illinois Policy Institute says that the city of Belleville, Illinois, has spent $420,000 settling workers’ compensation claims by employees this year, with much of that money going to workers who returned to their jobs the day after the injury.
The Policy Institute, which advocates for more business friendly public policies, reported that Belleville pays for workers’ compensation settlements of up to $250,000. After that amount is spent, insurance coverage kicks in.
A report by freelance writer Vincent Caruso on behalf of the institute says that five Belleville employees received settlements of $19,300 to $33,000 for repetitive trauma claims.
“The state’s costly workers’ comp law is no fault of individual workers,” the report says. “Rather, it’s state lawmakers who have failed to reform it to bring costs in line with surrounding states. A 2015 report by Illinois’ Local Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates Task Force found workers’ comp to be the third-most burdensome unfunded mandate for municipalities.”
The Illinois state legislature, controlled by Democrats, has repeatedly rejected workers' compensation reform proposals by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.
This article was first published by Work Comp Central.