Below is a list of the main exemptions you can claim when declaring bankruptcy in Illinois, along with a summary of each exemption. Only Illinois legislation that defines and specifies the exemptions may be used since Illinois has chosen not to let its inhabitants use the federal exemptions. It is best to consult a lawyer to learn the specifics of each exemption and all possible exemptions that may be submitted.
- Equity in a home utilized as a residence, up to a maximum of $15,000 (double if married)
- Automobile equity of up to $2,400 for a single vehicle
- Personal property (Items for the home (such as the Bible, school materials, clothes, and family photos))
- Equity in any other property with a value of up to $4,000
- Boat title exceeding 12 feet in length
- Tools of the trade worth up to $1,500
- Unmatured life insurance is also often exempt, but there are some exceptions.
- Required ERISA-qualified benefits
- Public assistance, workers’ compensation, and public benefits
- Social Security
- Benefits for veterans
- The amount reasonably required for the support of the debtor and any dependents, including alimony and child support
What Are the Benefits of Social Security?
Benefits from Social Security are typically monthly payments made to those who qualify. Retirement benefits are the most popular Social Security benefits, and people can begin applying for them at age 62. How many work credits a person has accrued throughout their working life will determine how many benefits they will receive.
Generally speaking, a person must have 40 credits to be eligible for benefits. The equivalent of 40 credits is around ten years of full-time employment. If they were born in 1960 or later, they would receive the maximum benefit amount when they are 67. The maximum pension is paid at age 65 to people born before 1937.
People may continue to work and yet be eligible for benefits between the age of 62 and the age at which they are eligible for the full amount of benefits. Their benefit payments will be scaled back if their earnings exceed a predetermined dollar threshold.
When a person reaches full retirement age, they can typically continue to work and keep the full amount of their benefit.
The following three additional Social Security benefits are available:
- Benefits from Social Security Disability: You and some family members may be eligible for payments under the Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) program if you have worked for a sufficient time and have paid Social Security taxes on your income. A person must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability to be eligible for these payments. People who have a disability and have been unable to work for at least a year are typically eligible;
- A Supplement to Social Security: Aged, blind, and crippled people who lack income or have insufficient income to be eligible for retirement or SSDI benefits are given benefits under the federal SSI program. The SSI program is funded through the government’s regular tax money, not through Social Security levies. Those who qualify must provide proof of their handicap and, if applicable, income; and
- Benefits for Survivors: If you pass away, your family member could be eligible for these benefits. Spouses, children, and parents of a decedent who was eligible for benefits may receive payments following the decedent’s death. Social Security taxes paid by workers are set aside in part for payment of survivor’s benefits.
- The benefits you receive will depend on how much you make while working. You may be eligible to receive the benefits to which your spouse was entitled if they received retirement or disability benefits at the time of their death.
What Should I Do if My Social Security Benefits Have Been Rejected?
The Social Security Administration has the right to reject any claim for Social Security benefits. Nevertheless, the opportunity to appeal a rejection does exist for individuals who are denied. In general, the appeals procedure goes like this:
- Reconsideration: If a person has been denied benefits, they may ask for reconsideration, which will start a thorough investigation. An independent third party who wasn’t involved in the initial decision will conduct the review. In the course of reconsideration, Social Security looks at both the initial application and any further evidence;
- Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge: If you don’t agree with the decision on reconsideration, you can ask to have your case heard by an administrative law judge. Social Security may ask you to provide further proof or provide clarification on a few claim details before the hearing. The judge will interrogate any witnesses, including any medical witnesses, during the hearing.
- Claimants unable or unwilling to attend an in-person hearing must tell Social Security because the hearing is typically done in person. The judge will decide on the social security issue following the hearing; alternatively
Defending the Social Security Administration in court If you disagree with the judge’s ruling, you can sue the Social Security Administration in federal court.
What Services Are Provided by Workers’ Compensation?
Benefits from workers’ compensation often consist of:
- Substitute income
- Medical costs
- Pension for the long term or a lump amount if you are permanently disabled
- While you are unable to work, receive a temporary disability pension
Workers’ Compensation Requirements
To meet the criteria for workers’ compensation:
- You must actually work for your employer (i.e., not an independent contractor)
- Your injuries must be related to your job
You must complete several processes to be eligible for workers’ compensation. You have to
Inform your employer of your injury as soon as possible. Some states normally demand notification within two to thirty days of the injury. If a sickness or injury develops gradually, you must disclose it as soon as you are aware that your work brought it on.
Receive medical attention and heed the advice of the physician.
Contact the insurance provider for your employer to file a claim. Your employer must provide insurance claim forms.
Keep copies of all documents throughout the process.
What Kinds of Accidents Are Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
Whether the damage resulted from negligence on the part of the employer or the employee, workers’ compensation is intended to offer benefits to injured employees. Your injury is covered by workers’ compensation as long as it is job-related.
Common injuries covered include:
- Chronic stress disorders
- Illnesses or ailments that develop gradually as a result of working situations
- Traumatizing physical harm
- Multiple traumatic injuries
- When they occur with physical ailments, mental injuries
- Workplace illnesses
Injuries That Are Not Covered by Workers’ Compensation
Nearly every injury that could happen at work is covered under workers’ compensation. But there are still a few sorts of injuries that are not:
- Damage caused by oneself (including injuries to you when you cause a fight)
- Injuries brought on by the conduct of a heinous offense
- Injuries brought on by your behavior breaking company policy
- Injuries sustained when under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs
- Injuries caused by careless behavior on the part of the worker
Who Doesn’t Qualify for Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation benefits are not available to certain groups of employees. Employees who are not entitled to workers’ compensation include the following:
- Company owners
- Independent businesses
- Under the state’s plan, federal personnel
- Domestic helpers in private residences
- Farm laborers
- Maritime personnel
- Railroad personnel
- Unpaid interns
Note that each state may have different workers’ compensation rules. For example, legislation governing workers’ compensation in California may differ from those in other states.
What Can I Do If I Believe the Insurance Company Is Unfairly Withholding Payment From Me? How Do You Sue an Insurance Company?
A local life insurance lawyer should be contacted if you believe the insurance company is unjustly withholding funds from you or if you are having problems with your insurance provider. According to your particular state’s regulations, they can help you determine what you are entitled to and how to proceed. You may be entitled to recover the amount due to you under the policy, plus interest, in a civil case against the insurance provider.
It might occasionally be challenging to understand how to sue an insurance provider. Getting a declaration (in writing) from the business detailing the issue is the most crucial thing for you to accomplish. You would need a written letter from the insurance company outlining the reasons for the rejection, for instance, if they are refusing to pay out under your personal injury coverage. You should ask the company for as many written statements as they are prepared to supply if you want to be sure.
You should also gather all copies and pertinent documents you may have that are related to the issue. Copies of contracts you have signed, previous financial reports from the business, and a written description of the events leading up to the disagreement are a few examples of this could include.
Do I Require a Bankruptcy Attorney?
Even though the property would have been exempt had the exemption been submitted correctly, bankruptcy is a very complicated process. Submitting an exemption wrongly might result in the property being confiscated. When requesting exemptions, the Illinois bankruptcy exemption statute must be referenced.
An Illinois bankruptcy attorney is knowledgeable about the specifics of filing for bankruptcy and can advise you on the best chapter of bankruptcy. Additionally, a bankruptcy attorney may ensure that your exemptions are properly submitted.