Synopsis: Governor Rauner Truly “Reformed” the IL WC System and Doesn’t Know It!
Editor’s comment: One difficult aspect of being an observer and critic of a government system like workers’ compensation is finding statistically significant sources to allow comparisons between other states’ WC systems and ours. Business and labor always struggle to make sense of whether workers compensation benefits are “appropriate” in level to take care of injured workers. I am constantly asked by clients and potential clients, does the IL WC system encourage investment by businesses and local governments to bring new jobs to this State? For many years, the answer to that has been either an outright no or a cautious maybe. For the first time in decades of watching, I now have good news to report.
In almost four decades of watching and weighing our IL WC system, I am confident the only place we can look to for true statistical significance is the Every-Other-Year Survey of All 50 States and D.C. by the think tank at the State of Oregon Dep’t of Consumer and Business Services. I salute Chris Day and Jay Dotter, the authors of this great study. Their statistical analysis and report was sent to me by a reader and is available on their website right now at
I have attached it to this email also. I hope your spam blocker didn’t block it.
If you look, you will note Illinois WC Insurance Premium Ranking is 22d among the 50 States and D.C. If you carefully review it, you will note our sister state to the north, Wisconsin is higher in costs than us at 11th place with an index rate of 2.02. In short, the Cheesehead WC system is lots higher for their businesses and local governments than ours. In contrast, Missouri is at 27th and Michigan is at 37th. Yes, Kevin Boyle, our KCB&A IN WC defense team leader wants me to confirm for all of my readers the IN WC still is a bottom-feeder at 50th place. If a U.S. business doesn’t care much about their injured workers, IN may be the right place to move to. I assure you Kevin Boyle can help you navigate the system and save big bucks. That said, I will comment more on IN WC below.
Why Doesn’t Governor Rauner Appear to Know of His Success of Bringing IL WC Benefits to the Middle of the Pack?
I am closely watching the Governor’s Race. His website makes no mention of this very new national WC rating.
I have been carefully watching our Governor who I have met at least twice. He initially and blindly wanted IL WC legislative “reforms” that wouldn’t have reformed anything and might have made our benefit system more expansive and expensive at the same time. I hope the State Chamber or someone put the kibosh on those plans. I don’t know what changed his mind but he did refocus to make the new reforms work.
If you read my blog from three-four years ago, I assure you I forecast precisely what happened—Governor Rauner didn’t need new laws for WC reform, he needed new administrators who were intent on making the system more professional, more fair and one that adhered to common sense principles of WC law. Not sure how but he got it done and the new administrators/hearing officers are great. Long may they wave—I mean--keep their positions.
My worry for IL business right now is the Democrats are poised to make this a one-party State like Chicago is a one-party city. “Democracy” in both Illinois and Chicago is gone with the wind, folks. Please assume the party in power will continue to consolidate their winnings and render the opposition empty and worthless. Starting shortly, the statewide “election” to watch will be the Democratic primary because no one is going to invest in or vote for a State Republican candidate that will have no chance of winning. I am not happy to report this; my problem is no media outlet is admitting this is where this State is certain to be after this hilariously one-sided election. I strongly predict a Democrat landslide for all Statewide and legislative positions.
Summary on the Oregon WC Premium Rate Ranking
Please note my thoughts, as a defense attorney and observer, this survey documents our State is wonderfully positioned just above the middle of the pack in WC premium costs for the U.S. In my humble view, that is a great place to be. I hope we can stay there. Why do I feel this way?
Businesses and our IL State Chamber can’t beef that our IL WC benefits are staggeringly high and are driving jobs out of state. They no longer are high—they are mid-stream and fair. If you aren’t sure, under Blagojevich-now-in-prison, we rose to number 3 in the country which caused a lot of consternation in the IL business community and sent a lot of folks packing with jobs that won’t ever be back.
On the other side, IL Labor can’t beef our IL WC benefits are low and don’t provide enough money for real work accidents and real injuries. By definition, our IL WC benefits are moderate and reasonable when compared to other states, particularly most of our sister states. If you compare IL WC benefits to the IN WC system, I can demonstrate how painfully low IN is in compensating for serious injuries and fatalities. In my view, their WC premiums are low due to embarrassingly low work-injury benefits.
I strongly hope our Democrat legislative team sees the value in keeping IL workers’ comp in the middle and out of the controversy that would come with being very low or very high as compared to other State WC systems. I strongly hope we don’t see our soon-to-be new chubby Governor Pritzker start bringing in liberal and radical administrators who will spike IL WC costs and bring us back to the headlines for silly WC rulings and runaway costs.
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Synopsis: Please Note IL WC Wage Diff Benefits Will Certainly Change Under Projected IL Governor JB Pritzker.
Editor’s comment: JB Pritzker is leading by double-digits, folks. In my view, our new Governor- to-be JB Pritzker promises two important things—higher income taxes and a higher IL minimum wage that may be $15 per hour. To put this into place, he is going to want to present legislation as soon after the election as possible so you and I forgive and forget the fury about the higher income tax thing.
Illinois Statewide Minimum Wage Will Almost Double Shortly After Gov Election Goes To Pritzker
Candidate Pritzker is leading the election polls and appears to be a lock to win. What are called “Republicans-Against-Winning” have their goofy splinter candidate running in a fashion that can only insure he and his silly supporters block Gov Rauner’s efforts to keep his job. It is one of the oddest things about the Republican party in this nutty state. They are almost proud to empower IL State Democrats in a vain effort to maintain their supposed “purity” on one minor issue to which they are eternally devoted. Happy to explain this phenomenon further if you want it—send a reply.
In my seasoned and veteran view, as fast as JB Pritzker wins the election in about four weeks, we will see new income taxes and a $15 per hour minimum wage bill hit the IL House and Senate. I assure you this new law is going to change the IL WC system in several ways.
First, full-time workers at any level across our state will be making something like $600 a week making their TTD rate about $400 and PPD rate about $360. That is going to cost WC insurers and self-insured employers more money in WC benefits. Those higher costs are unavoidable once the minimum wage is hiked.
Next, this new higher wage is going to drive many companies to automate many jobs. We have already seen McDonald’s put in kiosks to have customers automatically order food and allow them to lay off some workers. They are going to be matched by dozens of other companies in lots of industries.
Further, my sister is an exec at a supply company that has minimum wage workers in this state customize and assemble supply orders for shipping to clients. She has advised they are already in the process of moving that work to other states—once moved, those jobs won’t be back. That is going to impact lots and lots of folks and will eventually impact the IL WC system.
Finally, please note any IL WC claim involving pending wage loss differential benefits will need to be re-reserved as the higher minimum wage is certain to lower wage loss outcomes. If a worker can locate a full-time job, they will be making no less than $15 per hour in this State. That will forever limit wage loss diff claims for all but the best paid tradesmen/women.
I had an insurance broker ask why Claimant attorneys still seem to think the minimum wage will be less than $10 per hour. I assure you that thinking is erroneous. The reason Plaintiff-Petitioner attorneys are still asking for wage loss settlements as if the minimum wage will remain low is because they want more money from you. Their job is to represent their clients and not give you the 411 on the projected IL minimum wage. Don’t be taken advantage of—reply or call me to discuss.
Please put current wage loss diff settlements on hold for about sixty days. If you want further information or advice on this, send me a reply. I may save you thousands of bucks, if you do so.
Synopsis: The Importance of Surveillance in IL WC—My vote for your next surveillance job is Dean Gluth of Infomax.
Editor’s comment: IL WC Defense is characterized by one interesting concept—there is little formal pre-trial “discovery” to allow the parties to get a sense of the other side’s claim. One way to get defense information on a moderate to major IL WC claim is surveillance. Even surveillance the provides a normal picture of Claimant can be helpful, if the injured worker comes in to whine, whine and whine some more during a pre-trial or trial about their post-injury condition. If surveillance documents recovery or MMI to full duty, you may have a winner.
The best IL surveillance maven is easy to locate—Dean Gluth of Infomax. if you have the ability to hire him within your WC insurance protocols, consider doing so. I have seen numerous WC claims across the country turn in the employer’s favor when good surveillance protocols, like those used by Dean Gluth, are followed. Please also remember if surveillance documents an injured worker who truly appears to be suffering from the effects of a serious injury, you have done your job to document, document, document your file to justify the ongoing payment of benefits. My vote—if a worker is off work for six months or more, consider calling Dean Gluth to insure you are paying benefits when benefits are due.
Dean Gluth does solid work and holds all the appropriate certifications. He can be reached at:
"The Super Sleuth"
Licensed Private Detective (IL, IN, WI)
InfoMAX Investigations, Inc.
P.O. Box 681175
Schaumburg, IL 60168
* Board Member (Member At Large) NCISS (National Council of Investigation & Security Services)
* Board Member ADSAI (Associated Detectives & Security Agencies of Illinois)
* Member INSPI (Indiana Society of Professional Investigators)
* Member IAPI (Indiana Association of Professional Investigators)
* Member PAWLI (Professional Association of Wisconsin Licensed Investigators)
* Member ILAPPS (Illinois Association of Professional Process Servers)
* Member Illinois Chamber of Commerce (and on their Illinois WC Reform Committee)
* Board Member IDFPR (Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation)
IL Workers' Compensation
Preferred Provider Program with Shawn Biery, J.D.
Tuesday | October 30th, 2018
11:00am - 12:30pm
Join the Illinois Chamber and Shawn R. Biery from Keefe, Campbell, Biery & Associates for a webinar on October 30, 2018 to learn about Preferred Provider Programs as they relate to Illinois Workers’ Compensation.
Shawn will summarize the language of the Illinois WC Act and the path of PPPs in Illinois from legislation to implementation and current updates. Learn the potential impact on Workers’ Compensation if you join a PPP and potential strategies to increase your ability to manage workers’ compensation claims and navigate the medical issues which create much of the stress and drama involved with workers’ compensation.