Accident Reporting Requirements – Forms 45 & 85

It has been years since we have had client inquiries regarding accident and benefit payment reporting requirements under the Act, but we have recently had two such inquiries from clients. In sum, Section 6(b) of the Act requires every employer (or insurers acting on their behalf) to maintain records of work-related deaths, injuries and illness other than minor injuries requiring only first aid treatment which do not require medical treatment or involve loss of consciousness or restriction of work or motion.  The employer (or its insurance carrier) is also required to file reports with the Commission concerning such accidents arising out of and in the course of employment, if such accident results in the loss of more than 3 scheduled work days.  In the case, the report must be made no later than 2 days following the accidental death. In all other cases, the report shall be made between the 15th and 25th of each month. (820 ILCS 305/6(b)) 

The Commission provides what is known as the “Illinois Form 45: Employer’s First Report of Injury” for purposes of reporting such injuries.  The Act also requires supplemental reporting as soon as it is determined that permanent disability will result from the injury and the Commission provides what is known as “Illinois Form 85: Employer’s Supplementary Report of Injury.” The Form 85 notes that it is to be filed in addition to the Form 45 and shall be filed when 1)benefits begin or are stopped; 2) there is a change in the employee’s status; 3) final compensation is made.  The International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions (IAIABC) has also developed two similar forms (IA-1 and IA-2) which are accepted by the Commission. We have made these forms available here for your use:  ic45FORM; ic85FORM; ia1form; ia2form.

Further information is provided on the Commission website: 

“Section 6(b) of the Workers’ Compensation Act requires employers (or insurers acting on their behalf) to send reports to the Commission on all accidents involving more than      three lost work days. First reports on fatal accidents are due within two work days after the death; reports on nonfatal cases shall be reported within the month.  A supplementary or subsequent report should be made if it is determined that a permanent disability is involved.

There are two versions of each report below.  We will accept either version.  The IC45 and IC85 forms were created by the Commission;  the IA1 and IA2 forms were created by the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions,  and are used in several states. It may be more convenient for multi-state employers to use the IAIABC forms. 

OSHA will accept the IC45 or the IA-1 form in lieu of the OSHA Form 301;  however, we cannot accept the OSHA form as an accident report because the OSHA form does not contain all the information required by state law. 

If possible, please send the reports electronically.  It reduces our data-entry work considerably,  and will save you paper and postage. Send trading partner agreements and direct any technical questions to Bennie Horton, Jr.  (312/814-6179). 

Effective November 2011,  in response to Supreme Court Order M.R. 138,  the Commission no longer collects Social Security numbers.  The field was eliminated from the accident report forms.  Please update your forms. 

Please mail the hard-copy accident reports to 4500 S. Sixth St. Frontage Road, Springfield, IL 62703-5118.”

Section 15 of the Act requires the Commission to provide an annual report to the Governor concerning its administration of the Act, and is to include the information received from employers throughout the state as reported on the Forms 45 and 85, including the average weekly wage of injured workers, the number of injuries and diseases, average benefit levels, average duration of disability, average payment for hospital and medical care, average funeral benefit, average benefit payment broken down by type of benefit, and case disposition.

Section 6(b) notes that “failure to file with the Commission any of the reports required in this Section is a petty offense.”  Similarly, Section 26 of the Act states that “Any wilful neglect, refusal or failure to do the things required to be done by any section, clause or provision of this Act, on the part of the persons herein required to do them,…is a petty offense.”  Neither section (or any other section in the Act) specifically defines a “petty offense” or the penalty to be imparted as a result of such an offense.

Nevertheless, we recommend that our clients, including self-insureds and insurance carriers, comply with these reporting requirements. Apart from being a good corporate citizen and assisting the Commission in its fact-finding duty, it is important to consider that both insurance and self-insurance status is regulated by the state and one does not wish to develop a poor reputation for noncompliance with the Act. Furthermore, the Form 45 or IA-1 provides the claims adjuster and defense counsel valuable information to both set up the claim file and cross-examine the injured employee if the case proceeds to trial in the future (especially if the employee has signed the form). The form also provides medical and hospital information necessary to obtain the records in a timely fashion, which expedites the initial investigation of the claim and ensures that the injured employee receives required medical and lost time benefits, if the case is deemed compensable.

For self-insurers, the preparation and filing of the forms in a timely fashion is an in-house matter and more easily enforced and tracked. In the case of insurance carriers, timely reporting will rely on responsive insureds. We recommend that insurance carriers provide all of their insureds with the Form 45 or IA-1 with the workers’ compensation policy and require a completed form with each reported claim.