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Who Qualifies For Workers’ Compensation?

As the name suggests, workers’ compensation is designed to provide benefits to injured workers. However, this is not the full story – there are many people in the U.S. who are considered “workers,” but are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

Employees vs. Independent Contractors

In order to qualify for workers’ compensation, you must be an employee of the company or individual who carries the insurance. This specifically excludes independent contractors – people who perform work for a company, but do not actually work for the company. There are often blurred lines between these two statuses, but an employee typically meets the following conditions:

  • They work under the control and direction of the company
  • The perform the standard business of the employer
  • The tools/equipment they use belongs to the employer
  • They have a long-term working relationship with the employer
  • The employer deducts taxes & other benefits from their pay

Other Ineligible Employees

Beyond independent contractors, there are two very specific types of workers who will not be eligible for workers’ compensation. These are interstate railroad workers, and crewmembers of ships. These employees may still seek compensation for their injuries, but they must file a lawsuit against their employer.

Injuries Must Be Work-Related

One common misconception is that you will only qualify for workers’ comp if you were injured on the jobsite. If you are offsite, however, the injuries must occur in the course of employment. If you are injured while making a delivery for work, then you are entitled to pursue workers’ comp benefits. An offsite injury on your lunch break, however, may not qualify you.

At Cummings & Middlebrooks, LLP, our experienced Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys can help you get the benefits you deserve. For guidance in your claim, or to appeal a decision, contact our firm today at (404) 250-3292.

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