When are you eligible for workers’ compensation?

If you are hurt or become ill at work you can be entitled to workers’ compensation. This could range from the expense of medical bills to lost wages and damages. If you are eligible you may receive certain compensation regardless of who was at fault. Since this procedure is in place you can’t sue your company for any further damages except in some comes where you can sue outside of the workers’ compensation system.

There are three requirements that you must meet to be eligible for workers’ compensation where there are special rules for certain types of employees. Here’s a closer look to see if you may be eligible for workers’ compensation.

When are you eligible for workers’ compensation?
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Your employer must be covered by workers’ compensation

Although the majority of employers are covered, there are some that aren’t. The rules differ depending on where you are located but generally it is required that an employer be covered if they have at least one employee. On the other hand there some states in America that requires a minimum of two to five before you must be covered.

Employers can purchase workers compensation insurance from the private sectors otherwise larger businesses take the costs themselves through a procedure known as self-insurance. When you start a new job you are given a form to sign that discloses how the business operates its fair work procedures.

You have to be an employee

Sometimes workers aren’t necessarily employees and thus aren’t eligible for workers’ compensation. Independent contractor such as freelancers or consultants aren’t entitled to these benefits.

There have been cases where workers such as Uber and other ride sharing services have claimed that they are employees even though they have been classified as independent contractors. As the service is still relatively new and people don’t know how to approach it properly, cases related to this usually end up in court.

Normally volunteers aren’t entitled to any benefits with some exceptions. An example would be volunteer firefighters are covered.

The injury or illness you have must be from work

When are you eligible for workers’ compensation?
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As a general rule of thumb, if you were participating in an activity that was for the benefit of your employer it is work-related. Examples include developing carpal tunnel syndrome due to repetitive typing on your job or if you become sick due to the constant exposure of hazardous chemicals at your workplace.

This part of the claim is where it is made or broken. It’s hard to dispute that you have developed carpal tunnel at work if you are an avid tennis player. Situations that would be harder to fight would be if an injury occurred during your lunch break or at a company social event.

Miranda Burton Author

Miranda has a special interest in all law related areas and enjoys breaking down complicated legal matters into easy-to-understand writing.