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Illinois Industrial Commission to change name to Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission     Send a link to a friend

New name will eliminate confusion and better reflect mission

[DEC. 3, 2004]  CHICAGO -- In an effort to better reflect the Illinois Industrial Commission's mission to resolve disputes between injured workers and their employers regarding workplace injuries, the agency is changing its name to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission. The change goes into effect Jan. 1, 2005.

When Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed House Bill 6648 into law, he said, "This change is part of my goal to make government more responsive to the needs of the people of Illinois."

"There is a lot of confusion created by the current name," he continued. "Without any reference to workers' compensation, injured workers and employers seeking assistance have experienced continuous difficulties in locating this agency."

The governor added that the new name will eliminate confusion and will require only nominal costs to update signs and literature.

"Not only does the current ambiguous name cause confusion in determining what services are provided by our agency, we are often confused with the Commerce Commission, the Department of Labor and other government agencies -- both inside and outside of state government," said Dennis R. Ruth, commission chairman. "The bottom line is the name change will allow us to be more effective in serving the citizens of Illinois."

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The commission is already in the process of updating documents to reflect the new name and expects to have all signs, stamps and other literature updated by January 2005. A new online site has also been created and is currently available at www.iwcc.il.gov.

The commission operates the court system for workers' compensation cases. Roughly 300,000 work-related accidents occur in Illinois each year; in 70,000 of these cases, workers file claims with the commission. The commission then resolves disputes that have arisen between the employee and employer regarding the cause of accident, severity of disability, medical expenses and other issues.

Commission arbitrators conduct hearings at 32 sites throughout Illinois, which provides injured workers and employers with easy access to the workers' compensation system. If arbitration decisions are appealed, a panel of three commissioners hears cases in Springfield or Chicago.

[Illinois Industrial Commission news release]

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