Injuries are inevitable no matter the type of job you perform. Those working in factories suffer back injuries from lifting heavy raw materials, while office workers can suffer carpal tunnel syndrome from typing. In all these cases, you are entitled to workers compensation for your injuries or disability.
To qualify for workers compensation, you must meet the basic eligibility criteria in your state of residence.
For example, if you are working in Indiana, USA, and you have injured yourself in your workplace, then according to the Workers’ Compensation Act of Indiana of 1915, you can hire an Indianapolis workers’ comp attorney depending on your eligibility and have a helping hand that can offer legal representation if you plan to take matters to court.
Here are the general eligibility criteria for most states.
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Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cover
Your employer must have purchased workers’ compensation insurance coverage. This is purchased from the state fund or private market, while other employers opt for self-insurance. The only qualification is that the employer must have one or more employees in Indiana though the rule varies among states.
The type of business or work determines whether your employer acquires workers’ compensation insurance. Some worker categories, including mariners and domestic workers, are excluded because they can access other worker compensation forms. If your employer has such a cover, you qualify for workers’ compensation if you suffer injuries at the workplace.
Employed Under the Company in Question
You must be designated employee status by your employer. This means you are on the company’s payroll, you work on their premises, and the company pays workers’ compensation premiums or payroll taxes. Ensure that you are classified as a staff member and not in any other category.
Some job categories are not classified as employees. This includes independent contractors, consultants, and others. In case you were misclassified, you have a right to resolve the matter through arbitration, although many such cases end up in court.
Injuries or Illness Tied to Your Work
You qualify for workers’ compensation if it has occurred at your workplace. Slip and fall injuries in workplace corridors can be classified as workplace injuries.
However, breaking your leg on your way from the canteen during a lunch break may not qualify as a workplace injury. On the other hand, the injury may be work-related if you were sent to buy food for employees.
Your Work Category
Most job groups are covered under workers’ comp but not all. You don’t qualify if you fall under the following categories:
- Agricultural workers
- LLC members
- Undocumented workers
- Domestic workers
- Registered real estate agents
- Sole proprietors
Non-military federal employees, mariners, longshore workers, shipbuilders, railroad workers, and former and current coal miners have their equivalents to workers’ compensation. Employees of staffing agencies leased to other employers should only seek workers’ compensation coverage from the staffing agency. Volunteers such as fire-fighting agencies are exempted, although they can opt into workers’ comp.
Adhere to Workers Comp Statutes of Limitations
It would be worthless to meet all the above qualifications and fail to file your workers’ compensation claim within the provided deadlines in your state. For your injuries to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, you must report to your employer immediately or soonest possible after the occurrence.
Indianapolis provides two years within which to file for compensation for work-related injuries. The time varies between states, with some having longer time windows and others less. Exceeding the given time disqualifies you from seeking reparations for injuries or illnesses incurred at the workplace.
Workers’ compensation is the magic wand that covers your medical expenses after a work-related injury and restores victims to their former financial position before the accident. Your employer must have purchased workers comp insurance coverage, and you must be designated employee status to receive benefits. Please note that workers’ comp eligibility criteria vary between states.