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Who Qualifies For Worker's Compensation?

If you become ill due to your work or were injured on the job, you may entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation is an insurance program that is required by state law that ensures employees who have suffered work-related injuries or illness receive financial compensation.

Employees who are eligible receive compensation for lost work and medical bills, regardless of who was at fault, in exchange employees forfeit the right to sue their employers for those injuries or illnesses. Though there are a few exceptions to this rule.

For the most part, there are three basic eligibility requirements for workers' compensation benefits:

  • 1) Employer Must Be Covered By Workers' Compensation

    Not all employers are required to have workers' compensation coverage. Laws can very a bit from state, but an employer's responsibility to provide coverage typically depends on how many employees it has, the type of business, and the type of work the employees are doing. However, the majority of employers are required to carry this kind of coverage.

  • 2) You Must Be An Employee

    It may surprise you to hear, but not all workers are employees when it comes to workers' compensation eligibility. For example, independent contractors which might include freelance writers or computer consultants, are not employees. However, many employers misclassify workers as independent contractors when they are really are employees in order to deny workers benefits including workers’ compensation. If you have been denied benefits due to an employer claims you are an independent contractor, you should consult with an attorney.

    Another example are volunteers. Though they may do some work for you, volunteers are not employees and thus are not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. There are a few exceptions to the rule that do allow volunteers some employee benefits.

  • 3) Injury Or Illness Must Be Work-Related

    In order for your illness or injury to count towards workers’ compensation, it needs to have been related to work. Generally speaking, if you were doing something for the benefit of your employer and you were injured or got sick as a result, then it is work-related. For example, if you were loading boxes as part of your warehouse job and end up hurting your back as a result, that counts towards workers’ compensation. Another example, a writer who develops carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of all the typing then you have a case for writers’ compensation.

    Sometimes it’s hard to know whether an injury or illness is work-related at all. For example, if you were injured on your lunch break when you were picking up food for your boss, does it count? Technically you were on lunch break, but at the same time you were doing a service for your boss during that break. It’s those kinds of complications that can make workers’ compensation a bit challenging.

Are you preparing to file a workers’ compensation? Don’t go it alone! Having a lawyer by your side can ensure that you get the financial compensation you need to recover from your injury or illness. Contact All Injuries Law Firm for a free consultation today.