Workers’ Compensation Eligibility Requirements
You might spend years of your life working hard at your job, but what happens if you get injured at work? The states have workers’ compensation programs that are meant to help you if you ever find yourself in this situation.
Workers’ compensation is meant to protect both employees and employers. If you’re an employee, these benefits are meant to help you quickly so you can pay for medical care and lost wages. This ensures you are not without a source of income for long. In the event of a fatal work injury, death benefits may help surviving family members. For employers, this program may protect them from lawsuits.
If you’ve been injured at work, how can you tell whether your injury meets the requirements for workers’ compensation benefits? You can find out by answering the questions below.
Most employers are required by state law to offer this form of insurance to their employees – including part-time and seasonal workers. Employers must pay for this insurance themselves, but some workplaces may be exempt by state law. If your employer is required to carry workers’ compensation but doesn’t, and you’re injured on the job you may be able to pursue legal action against the employer. You may also be able to apply to the state fund for injured workers to seek compensation for your injury. In both cases, working with an attorney may help you sort through the complexities of the process.
Was your injury work-related?
You may meet workers’ compensation benefits requirements if you were injured on the job, or if you became ill due to your job. You may also meet workers’ compensation benefits eligibility requirements if your work aggravated a pre-existing condition. If your injuries were self-inflicted or related to illegal activity, the work injury is generally not covered.
Do you meet the eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits?
If you’re a part-time or full-time employee, you’ll generally be able to apply for workers’ compensation in the event of an injury. In many states, however, some workers may not be covered. In Pennsylvania, for example, agricultural workers, volunteers, independent contractors, casual employees and domestic workers are not covered by workers’ compensation benefits.
One issue that may arise after an injury is that some employers will incorrectly classify staff and employees as independent contractors or as other non-qualifying workers, effectively disqualifying them from benefits. If you feel you have been denied benefits due to a misclassification you should consult with a workers’ compensation attorney.
Qualifying for Workers’ Compensation Benefits
It can be difficult to know whether you meet workers’ compensation eligibility requirements, especially since every state has different laws. If you believe you meet workers’ compensation requirements but have been denied your rightful benefits, contact the law office of Lisa M. Ritacco. Our firm has represented clients in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and the surrounding regions.