Workers’ Compensation Eligibility
There are a few requirements that must be in place in order for you to be eligible to receive workers compensation benefits. Workers compensation is simply a form of insurance that provides injured employees wage compensation during their time out of work while they are injured or recovering from injury. The provision of workers compensation benefits serves to benefit both to the employee, by providing compensation during times that they are unable to work and to the employer, by protecting them from legal action by injured employees who are receiving compensation provisions.
There are three basic requirements to receive workers’ compensation:
Your employer has to offer workers’ compensation
Not all employers are required by law to provide workers’ compensation to their employees. If your company employs a small number of people, they may be exempt from being required to provide workers compensation. Also, some charitable or tax exempt organizations are not required to provide workers’ compensation benefits. You will want to make sure that your employer does carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees.
You have to be an employee
This may seem like a no-brainer, but there is more to being considered an employee than simply receiving a paycheck or financial compensation for your work. Businesses are not required to provide workers’ compensation benefits to consultants or independent contractors. If you are not a W-2 employee you might find that you are not covered in the event of an injury. Talk to your employer and make sure that you understand your employment status and the availability of workers compensation benefits to you. If you are not an employee and you are injured on the job, talk to a lawyer about your options.
Your injury must be related to your job
In order for workers’ compensation benefits to be applied, the injury that you sustained must be related to your work. This does not mean that it had to occur “on the job”, necessarily, but it does mean that you have to be able to substantiate that your injury is related to the work and work-related tasks that you perform. There are nuances and caveats to this and a lawyer can help you sort out the particulars if you feel that you have a work-related injury that your employer is denying.
Even before you sustain an injury, it is important that you talk to your employer to get a good understanding of the benefits that are provided to you. Make sure that they carry workers compensation insurance, confirm your employment status if you have any question about it. It is your job as an employee to understand the situation and the best way to do that is to ask lots of questions.