How Do You Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
It happens. You could get injured at work or while performing your official work duties. When this happens, you could be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. This is an insurance cover taken by employers to pay for the medical treatment and rehabilitation of injured workers. It also covers lost income caused by the employee’s injuries.
Generally, your eligibility for these benefits is determined by several factors. For one, your injury has to be work-related. You also have to hold legal employee status. In this article, we look at how to qualify for workers’ comp in New Jersey.
If you have questions concerning this topic, consult an expert Hudson County Workers Compensation Attorney.
Employee Vs. Independent Contractor
The first step in qualifying for workers’ comp benefits, is determining whether you are classified as an employee. Employees, unlike independent contractors, are covered by their employer’s workers’ compensation policy.
Generally, an employee is someone who works for another individual or company and:
- Performs duties under the control and direction of the employer
- Utilizes the employer’s tools
- Holds a long-term position with the employer
- Performs the employer’s regular business
- Has taxes taken out of their pay by the employer
If you work with a company but don’t fit these requirements, you are classified as an independent contractor. Independent contractors, such as consultants and freelancers:
- Are not necessary to the employer’s regular business.
- Use their own tools
- Can be hired for a single job
- Don’t have taxes taken out their pay by the employer
- Don’t receive instructions from the employer about how to perform their duties
As mentioned, independent contractors are not covered in an employer’s workers’ compensation policy.
In some situations, certain employment situations can be classified as exempt. Workers in exempt categories are not eligible for workers’ comp benefits. The most common exempt categories in New Jersey include:
- Seasonal workers such as migrant farmworkers
- Undocumented workers
- Domestic workers such as caretakers, babysitters, and nannies
- Agriculture workers
Type of Injury
Once you have established your employee status, you need to check that your injuries are covered by workers’ compensation. You are eligible for benefits if you:
- Suffered physical injury on the job, such as hearing loss due to noise in the workshop.
- Were injured during a work-sponsored activity such as a picnic lunch or camping retreat
- Were injured by a company facility such as a table in the lunchroom
- Had a preexisting condition that got aggravated or accelerated at the workplace
- Suffered mental or physical injuries caused by strain from work-related stress or increased work duties
On the flip side, you won’t get compensated for your injuries if they are self-inflicted or resulted from a fight that you started. You might also be ineligible if you got injured while committing a serious crime or an action that violates company policy.
Scope of Work
Workers’ compensation covers any injury or illness suffered while you are performing a work-related duty. This means that you have to establish a connection between your injury and your employment. For instance, you can be compensated for breaking your leg while making an office delivery but not for suffering the same injury while commuting to work.
Contact a Hudson County Workers Compensation Attorney Today
Many factors go into determining workers’ compensation eligibility. If you have been injured at work, a Hudson County Workers Compensation Attorney can help you determine your eligibility. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone to schedule a consultation today.