October 20, 2023
Workers’ compensation helps financially cover employees who are injured or become ill on the job. While the exact eligibility requirements can vary, some core requirements apply across the board. In this post, we will outline who is eligible for workers’ compensation so you’ll know if you qualify.
First, you need to be classified as an employee to be eligible for coverage. Individuals who are classified as independent contractors, freelancers, or consultants don’t typically qualify. If there is any uncertainty, you should check with your employer to find out your status. Please be aware, however, that your status as an employee is NOT dictated by your employer; it is determined by the law. Accordingly, if you qualify as an employee under the law, you may be covered by the system, even if your employment is under the table or your employer states (or has you sign paperwork stating) that you are an independent or sub-contractor. Your employer is legally obligated to carry workers’ compensation insurance for its covered employees.
Another critical part of being eligible is that the injury or illness is work-related, meaning it must have resulted from performing a job duty that is directly related to your employment. For example, if a construction worker was injured after being struck by a falling object while working on a job site, they would likely qualify for workers’ comp. But if they were driving in a personal vehicle to the job site and it was not a work-related task, they likely would not qualify. Note that there is a lot of gray area here, so it is helpful to consult a workers’ comp attorney.
Finally, you will need to report your injury or illness within the deadline required. Notice of the accident and injuries sustained must be given to your employer within thirty days. You will also need to file a report of injury on a Form C-3 and submit it to the Workers’ Compensation Board within two years of your injury.
Again, multiple factors determine whether you are eligible for workers’ compensation or not. The best way to find out for sure is to consult a legal team that knows the ins and outs of the process. At Zea Proukou, workers’ comp cases are our focus, and we have over 50 years of combined experience. If you are dealing with a workplace injury or illness, please contact us today. We have offices in both Rochester and Canandaigua, NY, and we are committed to ensuring you get the coverage you are entitled to.