Average Total Cost of an Illinois Workers’ Compensation Claim Remained Higher Than Most States, Driven by High Attorney Involvement and High Medical-Legal Costs


Cambridge, MA (WorkersCompensation.com) - The average total cost of an Illinois workers’ compensation claim remained higher than most states, driven by high attorney involvement and high medical-legal costs, according to a recent study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).

“Higher-than-typical medical payments per claim were due to prices paid for professional services and higher utilization, largely driven by physical medicine,” said Ramona Tanabe, executive vice president and counsel of WCRI.

The study, CompScope™ Benchmarks for Illinois, 19th Edition, compared Illinois with workers’ compensation systems in 17 other states. Illinois had one of the highest medical-legal expenses per claim and percentage of claims with medical-legal expenses. For the study, WCRI analyzed workers’ compensation claims with experience through March 2018.

“While medical and legal expenses remain higher than the typical state, there were only modest increases in prices paid for professional services during the study period,” said Tanabe. “This is consistent with the fact that the state’s fee schedule is tied to the Consumer Price Index.”

The following are among the study’s other findings:

  • The weekly maximum wage benefit was higher than that of other study states (133⅓ percent of the statewide average weekly wage, compared with 100 percent in most other states).
  • Illinois had a longer duration of temporary disability benefits than most states.
  • Of all the study states, Illinois had among the highest percentages of claims with more than seven days of lost time that received settlements.

To purchase a copy of this report, visit https://www.wcrinet.org/reports/compscope-benchmarks-for-illinois-19th-edition.

The Cambridge-based WCRI is recognized as a leader in providing high-quality, objective information about public policy issues involving workers' compensation systems. 

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