Most people who are injured on the job are eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits – but that is not always the case. In order to qualify for Workers’ Comp there are four basic requirements.
1) You Must be an Employee – Some of the people who work at certain companies are not actually employees of the company. For instance, independent contractors such as freelancers and consultants are usually not eligible for Workers’ Comp if they are hurt on the job. In most cases, the company must officially classify you as an employee for you to be eligible.
2) Your Employer Must Carry Workers’ Comp Insurance – Most employers in the U.S. are required by law to carry Workers’ Comp insurance – but there are a few exceptions. If you work for a company that does not carry this insurance, you will not be eligible for Workers’ Comp benefits.
3) Your Injury or Illness Must be Work-Related – In most cases, an illness or injury is considered to be work-related if you were doing something for the benefit of your employer that caused you to be hurt or become ill. However, this may be disputed under certain circumstances, such as being injured on your lunch break, at a company-sponsored social event or as a result of horseplay on the job.
4) You Must Meet Deadlines for Reporting the Injury and Filing a Claim – Each state has different rules and time requirements for reporting your injury or illness and filing a Workers’ Comp claim. If you fail to meet the deadlines for reporting and filing, you could lose your right to receive benefits.
Meeting these four requirements will qualify most people to receive Workers’ Comp benefits – but there are exceptions depending upon the state where you work and the type of work you perform. If your employer claims that you are not eligible for Workers’ Comp benefits, you should consider consulting an attorney.