An injured worker becomes eligible for weekly compensation benefits when they are not able to earn wages for five full or partial calendar days as a result of a work-related injury or illness. The days of loss do not have to be consecutive. At this point, the employer is required to file the Form 101 - Employer's First Report of Injury/Fatality .

If an injury or illness results in less than five calendar days of full or partial disability, then it is considered a "medical-only" claim and would not be required to be reported to the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA). However, a medical only claim would be required to be filed with your insurance company, as any resulting medical treatment would be paid for by the insurance company.

The Employer's First Report of Injury Or Fatality - Form 101 must be submitted to the DIA, the insurance carrier and the employee. This form must be sent to the DIA within seven calendar days (not including Sundays and legal holidays) from the fifth full or partial day the employee has been disabled. Submission of this form does not constitute an admission of liability.

Any employer who does not file this form on time three or more times in any given year shall be punished by a fine of $100 for each violation. Failure to pay the fine within 30 calendar days of receipt of an invoice from the DIA shall be considered a separate violation. The fines progressively escalate with each failure to pay, with a penalty of $100 increments.

If an employee does not report the injury or illness as work related to you right away, you would have seven calendar days (not including Sundays or legal holidays) from the notification of the injury or illness to file the form. For example, if an employee was out of work for three weeks and did not notify you they were out due to a work-related injury or illness until they returned to work, you would have seven calendar days (except Sundays and legal holidays) from the notification to file the Employer's First Report of Injury Or Fatality - Form 101.

Please note: In a case such as cited above, be sure to fill out the box on the form marked "DATE REPORTED" with the date the injury or illness was actually reported to you. This will prevent your company from being fined for failing to file the report within the statutory limits.