In most states, employers are required to participate in an insurance program to protect their staff from work-related accidents and occupational illnesses. Unfortunately, the system can be extremely complex, and it is often difficult to tell whether you are covered. If you’ve been injured on the job, speak to a local workers’ compensation lawyer who will determine whether you’re eligible for benefits. In the meantime, here are a few factors to consider.
Are You Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
1. Employer Eligibility
The rules describing which employers must carry workers’ comp vary from one state to the next. Some exempt very small businesses, while Illinois and other jurisdictions require almost every company to provide coverage. However, there are some exceptions, such as fire departments in cities of more than 500,000 people. Postal workers and other federal workers are also not covered, while almost all state employees are eligible for benefits.
2. Qualifying Employees
All staff of qualifying employers are covered by the insurance, whether they are full- or part-time. Independent contractors, however, do not fall under this umbrella, though companies often miscategorize qualified individuals as contractors to avoid paying benefits. If your boss states that you’re not eligible because of your contractor status, speak to a workers’ compensation lawyer before abandoning your claim.
3. Work-Related Injuries
To collect benefits, your injuries must be directly related to your working conditions. Accidental damages usually qualify, as do conditions that develop over time, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or back pain. You may also be able to receive compensation for some mental health issues, like depression or anxiety, if they were caused by the job.
For over a decade, the workers’ compensation lawyers at Skinner & Associates, L.L.C., has been standing up for the rights of injured employees throughout the Galesburg, IL, area. If you’ve been hurt on the job, you can rely on them for guidance through the complex process and help getting the benefits you deserve. To speak with a premier workers’ compensation lawyer, visit their website or call (309) 343-9964 today.