How Long Do I Have to Be Employed to Get Workers' Comp?
Getting hurt on your first day of work is not a great look. You were hoping to make a great first impression, and now your boss might be having second thoughts about her hiring practices.
All future career concerns aside, can you get worker's compensation benefits, even though you just started your job? How long do you need to be on the job before you're eligible for workers' comp?
While state workers' comp laws may vary on the particulars, generally the workers' compensation system doesn't take your length of employment into account. The essential elements to most workers' comp claims are:
- Whether you are an employee or an independent contractor (properly classified independent contractors are not eligible);
- Whether you are an exempted employee (federal and state laws exempt some employees like railroad, agricultural, or domestic workers from eligibility); and
- Whether your injury was work-related (even injuries suffered outside the office may be covered if they are associated with your job).
Therefore, it generally won't matter if you've been on the job two hours or two decades -- if you're eligible for benefits and the injury is work-related, you should be covered. Also, your employer is required to contribute to the worker's compensation system to cover all employees, so, unlike unemployment, your benefits are not contingent on the amount of hours you've worked.
On the Clock
While you may not have to be on the job long to collect workers' comp, you may have to act promptly. Like an injury case, workers' comp claims are restricted by a statute of limitation which means you have to file you claim within a certain amount of time or you won't be able to file it at all. The statute of limitation for workers' comp claims can vary by state, so it's best to file your claim as soon as possible.
If your employer is denying your claim, or you're otherwise having trouble collecting your benefits, you may want to consult with an experienced workers' compensation attorney near you.
- Find Workers' Comp Lawyers Near You (FindLaw's Lawyer Directory)
- How Long Will My Workers' Comp Claim Take? (FindLaw's Injured)
- How Long Will Workers' Compensation Benefits Last? (FindLaw's Injured)
- What's the Time Limit for a Worker's Comp Claim? (FindLaw's Injured)
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
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