Do I qualify for Workers Compensation?
You must be an “employee” or are self-employed and elected to purchase individual coverage through the BWC to be eligible. Additionally, you must have been injured or sustained an occupational disease on the job.
Ohio law requires employers to obtain workers’ compensation insurance for all employees. Ohio employers are either state fund or self-insured. State- fund employers pay an insurance premium to the BWC. The BWC then pays compensation benefits directly to you. Self-insured employers pay workers’ compensation benefits directly to their employees.
An unexpected injury or occupational disease caused by your job entitles you to access compensation to make up for salary lost due to an inability to work, along with medical and other benefits.
Most employers will have workers’ compensation coverage in place as it provides a protection from legal reprisals from injured employees. If an employer claims to not have paid for coverage, an employee should consult with an attorney. If an employer is legally required to have coverage but does not they are considered a “non-complying employer”. An injured worker still has the right to bring a claim against a non-complying employer. The BWC will still pay benefits to the injured worker.
In order to claim eligibility for workers’ compensation, one must be an employee. Independent contractors are not covered. Many times an employee is incorrectly categorized by the employer as an independent contractor when they are legally considered an employee and entitled to coverage. Workers who find themselves misplaced in the designation of their employment status need legal counsel to have it corrected, or possibly have their coverage denied should an injury occur.
The ultimate factor in determining one’s eligibility is whether the injury occurred in the “course and scope” of the employees’ employment. A work related injury or illness is one that results from performing a task that relates to the function of a worker’s position. During working hours, determining the source of an injury is often easy to determine. There are, however, gray areas where the source is difficult to ascertain–working past working hours, performing work off the employers’ premises, or performing duties outside an employee’s function. I can assist in proving that you are legally entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.