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Workers Who May Not Benefit From Benefit From Worker's Compensation Insurance

If you are hurt in an accident at your workplace, you are entitled to worker's compensation benefits, but only if you don't belong to the category of ineligible workers. Here are some categories of workers that worker's compensation insurance doesn't cover:

You Are an Independent Contractor

An independent contractor is someone contracted to perform a specific job or offer a certain service to another person. It's important to know whether you are an independent contractor or an employee because the rights and benefits differ greatly for the two categories, and defining an independent contractor isn't that easy. In fact, there are employers who may tell you that you are an independent contractor while, in the real sense, you fit the description of an employee. Here are some of the major features that may mean you are an independent contractor rather than an employee:

You Are a Volunteer

Just like an independent contractor, a volunteer is also not entitled to worker's compensation benefits. Volunteers are those who offer their services to another party without getting paid for it. Some volunteers receive a few benefits or allowance, but no salary. For example, if you have been going to the local homeless shelters to help distribute clothing and food without getting paid for your time, then you are a volunteer. You are also a volunteer if you work for the local youth wing of your political party but you don't get a salary or wage for it. In both cases, don't expect worker's compensation to come to your rescue if you get injured during your volunteering.

You Are a Casual Worker

Casual workers are another group of employees not entitled to worker's compensation insurance. Again, there is no universal definition of a casual worker, but you may belong to this category if your work satisfies the elements defining a casual worker as determined by your state. For example, some states define casual workers as those who engage in occasional work or irregular work while other states apply a specific maximum number of days that you can work and still be regarded as a casual worker. For example, you may be considered as a casual worker if you have been hired by a local business to help keep its parking lot snow free during the winter season.

Never assume that you aren't entitled to worker's compensation insurance just because your employer has said so. It might be that your employer has given you the wrong worker designation as a way of saving costs. Talk to a workers compensation lawyer to help you figure out your eligibility status.