What Makes You Eligible For Workers' Compensation?

Submitted by Elizabeth V on

What Makes You Eligible For Workers' Compensation?

You can’t automatically assume that because you were injured at work that you will be eligible for workers' compensation as there are specific requirements you must meet to get this benefit. However, most employees are covered by workers’ compensation insurance taken out by their employer. In order to meet workers’ comp. eligibility, you need to have suffered a work-related injury or illness, or be a dependent of a worker killed on the job.

Workers’ Compensation Eligibility Requirements

There are several requirements you need to meet before you can file an application for workers' compensation. These include the following:

  • You must be an employee who works full time or part time for an employer.
  • Your employer must have workers’ compensation insurance, which most employers are required to have.
  • Your illness and/or injury must be related to the work environment. Accidents that occur on the job not caused by employees’ misconduct are covered. Injuries such as repetitive-motion injuries caused by such work activities as typing on a keyboard to lifting heavy objects, exposure to asbestos that has resulted in mesothelioma and also workplace noise that has caused hearing loss.
  • Meet the deadlines for filing a claim. Each state has its own requirements for the deadlines related to workplace injuries or illness and the first is to report the incident to your employer which is usually around 30 days from the outbreak of an illness or an injury caused at work. When it comes to filing a workers’ comp. claim some states allow up to 2 years.

How Do I Prove I Meet the Requirements?

Before you file an application for workers' compensation you need to be able to prove your injury or sickness is related to the job you do. This will require evidence and reports such as:

  • proving you’re an employee by providing recent pay stubs;
  • photographs of the site where the injury took place;
  • eye witnesses’ reports of your injury taking place;
  • receipts of any payment for medical treatment due to your illness or injury;
  • photographs of the area that was the source of your injury or illness;
  • a doctor’s report supporting how your injury or illness took place and the treatment you are receiving.

There are some circumstances when you may find it difficult to be eligible for workers' compensation such as if you are a freelancer, an independent contractor, or a consultant. That being said, if you work many hours for one employer and your employer is responsible for the job you do, you are most likely to be classified as an employee and not an independent contractor.

If you are a casual or temporary worker, the question of whether you have workers’ comp. eligibility depends on whether you are classed an employee or an independent contractor. For example if you are a sales person, you could either be an independent contractor or an employee, depending on how independent you are from your employer.

Get Help With Your Workers’ Compensation Claim

If you believe your injury or illness is work related but you need help filing your workers’ comp. claim, you should work with an attorney for a free case evaluation.

Get a Free Case Evaluation Today

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