In case you become ill or are hurt as a result of your work, you can be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. This also includes some lost wages and payments of medical bills. Regardless of who is responsible for the injury, you may receive compensation as long as you are eligible.
And in return for this very protection, you will eventually lose the right or chance of filing a lawsuit against your particular employer for the damages. However, there are some exceptions to a few situations. You also can take the assistance of a Tampa workers compensation attorney.
For workers’ compensation benefits, there are 4 basic eligibility requirements. And they are:
- You have to be an employee.
- Your employer also has to carry the workers’ comp insurance.
- You have to have a work-related illness or injury.
- You also need to meet the deadline of your respective states for reporting the illness or injury along with filing a workers’ comp claim.
What Are The Eligibility Of Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Here I have discussed the details of the basic requirements.
You Must Be An Employee
When the matter is of worker’s compensation eligibility, not every worker is an employee. To be particular independent contractors, like consultants, freelancers, or also the members of the ‘gig’ economy, are not entitled to workers’ comp benefits.
There are also some instances of many workers saying that they are misclassified as independent contractors, but in actual the hiring firm should consider them as employees, for example, Lyft, Uber, and also some other ride handling services.
Even as an independent contractor, you are signing a 1099 tax form; for worker’s comp, you still can qualify as an employer. But in this case, your dispute may end up in court.
Your Employer Must-Have Workers’ Comp Insurance
A wide range of employers but not all of them are required to have worker’s compensation coverage. It is also true that the States law varies, but the responsibility of the employers to offer coverage normally depends on various things. Such as,
- The number of employees.
- The type of business.
- The type of work employees do.
Though most states have regulations to provide worker’s compensation coverage to only one employee, on the other hand, it is two to five for some states. For construction and agricultural business, a few states have totally different requirements.
Work-related Illness Or Injury
In case you are doing something for the benefit of your employer, and due to that, you get injured, that will fall under this category.
For example, when your injury is purely work-related. Like, you got your back hurt while loading boxes as a part of your warehouse job, or as a result of your typing job, you have developed carpal tunnel syndrome, or due to exposure to some hazardous chemical, you become ill.
On the other hand, this issue may be harder to figure out, like, you get injured during your lunch break or at a company-sponsored social event.
Reporting And Filing Deadline
It is really good that you are fulfilling all the three above-mentioned criteria for filing the worker’s compensation claim. But different states have a different time period for filing this claim.
So, you also need to make sure that you will not be able to get the claim. First, you need to inform your employer as soon as possible, or to be precise, within 10 to 90 days. The deadline for filing a worker’s comp claim is one to three years from the date of injury.
But in some special scenarios, the time limit also can be extended. Like, severe injury with prolonged surgeries and medical treatments, a coma, or in case the employee has to remain quarantined as the injury is contagious.
So, you need to fulfill all four criteria to be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits. But there are also some special rules for certain workers like agricultural and firm workers, domestic workers, loaned or leased employees, undocumented workers, seasonal or casual workers.