Q How Do You Know if You're Eligible for Workers' Compensation?
Workers' compensation is a type of insurance most businesses are required to have for their employees. If you are injured while at work or become ill because of your job, you may be entitled to compensation. Nolo.com discusses the three requirements you must meet in order qualify for workers' compensation benefits. These requirements are as follows:
Your Employer Must Have Workers' Compensation Insurance
Some state laws do require an employer to have workers' compensation insurance; however, this requirement does vary depending on the type of business and the number of employees the business has. Under the North Carolina Workers' Compensation Act, "businesses that employ three or more employees, including those operating as corporations, sole proprietorships, limited liability companies and partnerships, obtain workers' compensation insurance or qualify as self-insured employers for purposes of paying workers' compensation benefits to their employees." The NC Workers' Compensation Act does list a few exceptions to these requirements such as "employees of certain railroads, casual employees, domestic servants, farm laborers with fewer than 10 full-time, nonseasonal farm laborers, and federal government employees." If you are a federal employee, you are entitled to receive benefits based upon the federal governments' workers' compensation plan.
You Must be Employed
According to Nolo, not all workers are employees. To receive workers' compensation benefits, you must be an employee. If you are an independent contractor, you are not an employee.
Your Injury/Illness Must Have Happened at or because of your Job
For example, if you injure your shoulder lifting boxes on the job, or you get sick because of exposure to a dangerous chemical, your injuries are without a doubt, work-related. This gets tricky to determine when you're technically "off the clock," yet injured doing something that is technically work-related. For more information on situations such as this, click here.