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Workers' Comp Eligibility Requirements: Are You Eligible for Workers' Compensation?

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There is a difference between having your workers' comp approved by your employer or insurance and being eligible for workers' comp. If you are not eligible for workers' compensation, you cannot even make a workers' comp claim.

So it is important you first know if you are eligible for workers' compensation or not. This article will briefly explain to you the 4 eligibility requirements necessary to become eligible for workers' compensation. Here are they (in no necessarily particular order):

  • 1.You should be classified as an employee
  • 2.Your employer should have a workers' compensation insurance
  • 3.Your injury should be work-related
  • 4.You should file for workers' comp claim within your state's deadline

Let's get to them in brief detail.

Requirement #1: You should be classified as an employee

Just because you work for a company or employer does not mean you are an employee – at least, you're not necessarily classified as an employee based on legal terms.

If you work as an independent contractor, for instance, such as being a freelancer, you're not legally classified as an employee even if you work for an individual or company. Hence, you're mostly not eligible for workers' compensation.

If you're both an employee and an independent contractor, you can claim for workers' compensation to the company or employer whom you work for as an employee.

Volunteers are also mostly not eligible for workers' compensation, though some states and organizations give their specific workers' comp to their volunteers.

Requirement #2: Your employer should have a workers' compensation insurance

Your employer should have a workers' compensation insurance before they can provide workers' compensation to you.

The good news is, most states require their employers to obtain a certain amount of workers' comp insurance. The laws may vary from state to state, but most require employers to obtain workers' comp insurance.

Some employers also obtain more workers' comp insurance than what is legally required. This is to protect themselves from severe financial loss in case of a claim and to generally protect themselves from lawsuits – employees generally cannot sue their employers and claim for workers' comp benefits at the same time, except for a very few exceptions.

So far, Texas is the only that does not require employers to obtain workers' compensation insurance. But then again, it can be in the interest of the employer to obtain one.

Requirement #3: Your injury should be work-related

This one is very obvious. Your injury or illness must be work-related to be eligible for workers' compensation. But what defines a work-related injury (or illness)?

The obvious answer is any injury or illness you got while performing your job. This means that if you got into a machinery accident while working on a machine or falling off the roof of the house you're constructing, these injuries and illnesses are considered work-related.

Basically, you should be working your job when you got injured and/or you should be at the workplace and within the working hours when the injury happened.

However, work-related injuries also include injuries you got after you run some errand for your employer.

Lastly, even if you don't work the main part of the job but still work for the job when you got injured, that can be considered as work-related injury. For instance, you are a baker and you got an accident while buying flour for your bakery shop. Even though your main job is to bake, buying flour so that you have the ingredients needed in baking is also part of the job, hence your injury out of it is considered work-related.

Requirement #4: You should file for workers' comp claim within your state's deadline

Even if you meet the first three deadlines, if you didn't filed for workers' compensation within the state's deadline, you may lose the privilege of claiming your workers' comp benefits.

Take note that reporting your injury to your employer is different from filing for workers' compensation. In California, the law is: you should report your injury to your employer within 30 days after your injury is realized, and within 1 year for filing of workers' compensation.

Conclusion

These are the 4 eligibility requirements which you should meet to be eligible for workers' compensation. Let's sum them up again:

  • 1.You should be classified as an employee
  • 2.Your employer should have a workers' compensation insurance
  • 3.Your injury should be work-related
  • 4.You should file for workers' comp claim within your state's deadline

If you need further legal advice, it will be best if you consult a top workers' compensation attorney in Los Angeles.

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Thursday, 22 October 2020
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