Workers’ compensation insurance provisions cover most employees who get injured at work or sick from something in their work environment. However, some states set a minimum number of employees an employer must maintain before that employer is required to provide workers’ compensation coverage for its workers. Also, classifications of American workers are generally excluded from access to workers’ compensation benefits. While these classifications vary somewhat by state, here are a few of the categories of employees who might not be covered:
It is important to note both that there are exceptions to virtually every general workers’ compensation rule and that some workers are unintentionally or intentionally misclassified. That means that even if some workers are told by their employers that they aren’t eligible for benefits, this might not be true. If you’ve been injured on the job and have questions about your eligibility for benefits, consider scheduling a consultation with a Spartanburg, South Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer at Poliakoff & Associates, P.A. After we learn more about your job, we can guide you through your legal rights and options.
Non-Employees Excluded From Workers’ Compensation Coverage
Business owners may be surprised to learn that in most states, they are not covered by their own workers’ compensation policies. A few states, such as Washington, do allow owners, partners, and sole proprietors to buy into the program for an additional premium.
Volunteers are those who do work for a nonprofit or charitable organization without pay. Since they do not receive compensation for their efforts, they are not considered employees and are therefore not covered by workers’ compensation programs. Some organizations may choose to purchase coverage for volunteers anyway, but it is not required by law. Workers’ compensation insurance does cover volunteer firefighters and volunteer law enforcement officers. Volunteer first responders injured while performing their duties may benefit from speaking with an experienced Spartanburg, SC workers’ compensation lawyer, as filing related workers’ comp claims can be a little tricky under these circumstances.
Independent contractors (ICs) are not considered employees, even though they do receive payment for their work. ICs are treated as business owners for the purposes of workers’ compensation coverage and are therefore excluded from most plans.
Federal Employees Excluded From Workers’ Compensation Coverage
Federal employees are generally covered by the Federal Employee’s Compensation Act (FECA) rather than by traditional workers’ compensation plans. Those covered by FECA include dockworkers and postal workers, for example. A different federal act, the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), covers railroad employees. The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act covers those employees who work on the waters and piers of the United States. Nevertheless, if you work in one of these industries and have questions about what benefits you’re entitled to, a Spartanburg, SC workers’ compensation lawyer can point you in the right direction.
Where Can I Find Help in Determining Whether I’m Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
If you get injured at work, a knowledgeable and experienced Spartanburg, SC workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine what benefits you are eligible for, if any. To protect your rights and eligibility, seek counsel as soon as possible after your injury, so you don’t inadvertently waive, compromise, or void your eligibility for benefits.