Except in special cases, worker’s compensation covers most employees because most companies are required to purchase some form of insurance to cover their employees. However, the scope of benefits may vary from one employer to another and may depend on state laws and regulations.
Who is Eligible for Worker’s Compensation?
As long as your company employs you as a full-time employee and your employer has worker’s compensation coverage, then you are most likely covered by worker’s compensation.
It is worth noting, however, that while most employers are required to have coverage, in some states, employers with only one or two workers may not be required to get coverage. Some states set a minimum number of employees to require coverage whereas others don’t.
All full-time employees must be covered by worker’s compensation. However, if you are consultant, an independent contractor, or a seasonal worker, then your employer is not required to give you these benefits.
To be eligible for a worker’s compensation claim, your injury must be work-related. In other words, the injury happens while you are doing your job or while you are doing something for the benefit of your employer. Even if you are not in your work place when your injury happens, as long as you are doing it as part of the job, you are still eligible for worker’s compensation.
What Type of Injuries are Covered by Worker’s Compensation?
As long as your injury requires medical treatment, you can make a worker’s compensation claim. However, if the injury is minor and can easily be treated with a first-aid kit, you won’t be able to claim for worker’s compensation. Examples of minor injuries include: minor scrapes, cuts, and minor headaches. In cases where the headache becomes a recurring one, as a direct result of your work, then you can claim for worker’s compensation.
Physical injury, hearing loss, breathing problems or pulmonary conditions, and carpal tunnel are all classified as occupational diseases and as such, are all covered by worker’s compensation in NY.
There are instances, however, where the injury is not physical. For instance, stress or emotional trauma may still be covered by worker’s compensation as long as you can prove that the condition came about as a direct result of your job. Since these conditions are harder to prove, if your employer puts up a fight, you can consult a legal professional to check the eligibility of your claim since state laws also limit the eligibility of psychiatric-related cases for compensation.
Filing a Claim
You should file a claim for worker’s compensation as soon as the incident that caused your injury occurs. Time is important when reporting such claims because most states have restrictions when it comes to how much time you can claim for compensation.
(contributed by: Shulman & Hill Workers Compensation Firm 26 Court St #2100, Brooklyn, NY 11242 (718) 852-4700)
If your employer refuses to accept your claim for worker’s compensation even if it is a legitimate one, you should consult a lawyer. Some employers, for instance, may deny full-time employees worker’s compensation by claiming that the employee is a seasonal worker or an independent contractor. A lawyer can help you file a proper claim so you can receive the benefits under your worker’s compensation coverage.