If you've recently been injured at work, chances are you have several questions about workers' compensation benefits. One integral question many workers overlook is a simple and critical one: Do I qualify for workers' compensation benefits? There are several conditions associated with workers' compensation insurance, and to receive benefits, each condition must be met.
Here is some valuable information about qualifying for workers' compensation benefits.
You Must Be an Employee
The first eligibility requirement is that you must be classified as an employee. Even if you perform the same functions as an employee, but are considered an independent contractor, you might not qualify for workers' compensation benefits.
If you are a salaried employee, receive an hourly wage, your employer deducts taxes from your paycheck, and receive a W-2 in order to file taxes, you are considered an employee and are eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits.
Your Employer Must Carry Workers' Compensation Insurance
Workers' compensation is a type of insurance that protects employers from being sued by an employee who is injured at work. Most employers carry workers' compensation insurance. The laws concerning this specialized insurance vary by state and several other factors, including the number of employees and the industry in which the employer works.
Depending on where you live and the other above-mentioned factors, your employer might not carry workers' compensation insurance. Whether you are covered by workers' compensation or your employer doesn't offer it, contacting an attorney to understand your rights and how to proceed is the best option.
You Must Prove Your Injuries Occurred at Work
Finally, one of the last and most significant conditions is that your injury must occur at work. If you were injured at home and the injury is exacerbated at work, you won't be covered by workers' compensation insurance. Additionally, the injury must be significant enough that it impacts your ability to work and quality of life.
The best way to strengthen your case and prove your injuries occurred at work is to document what happened, ask witnesses to corroborate your version of events, visit a doctor right after the injury occurred, and promptly report your injury to your employer. An attorney can help ensure take all the necessary steps to strengthen your case and help you file a lawsuit if you don't receive the compensation you deserve.
If you have been injured at work, there are several factors that will impact your ability to receive workers' compensation benefits. To learn more, contact a workers' compensation attorney.