§ 21. No payment, claim, award or decision under this Act shall be assignable or subject to any lien, attachment or garnishment, or be held liable in any way for any lien, debt, penalty or damages, except the beneficiary or beneficiaries of a deceased employee who was a member or annuitant under Article 14 of the “Illinois Pension Code” 1 may assign any benefits payable under this Act to the State Employees' Retirement System. The compensation allowed by any award or decision of the Commission shall be entitled to a preference over the unsecured debts of the employer, wages excepted, contracted after the date of the injury to an employee. A decision or award of the Commission against an employer for compensation under this Act, or a written agreement by an employer to pay such compensation shall, upon the filing of a certified copy of the decision or said agreement, as the case may be, with the recorder of the county, constitute a lien upon all property of the employer within the county, paramount to all other claims or liens, except mortgages, trust deeds, or for wages or taxes. Such liens may be enforced in the manner provided for the foreclosure of mortgages under the laws of this State.
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