Work History Requirement and Workers Compensation Benefits

Suffering from an injury at work can have devastating consequences. When you are injured, you may need to pay for the cost of medical treatment. You might also become unable to work, either temporarily as you get better or permanently if your injury has affected you in a long-term way. Fortunately, workers compensation benefits exist in order to help you to have the money you need to live on and to help you get the medical care necessary to get better.

Work History Requirements and Workers Comp
When you are injured at work and wish to collect workers compensation benefits, one common question that arises is whether you need to have put in a sufficient number of working hours in order to get benefits. This is an understandable questions and one that workers compensation attorneys hear often. After all, in order to qualify for social security disability benefits (SSDI) or for unemployment benefits, you’ll have to prove you worked long enough to earn eligibility.
Workers compensation, however, is a different thing from these other types of programs, as your workers compensation lawyer will explain to you. Workers compensation is legislatively mandated in order to make sure workers get medical care and disability payments when they need it in the event that an injury happens at work. This means that the legislature wanted as many workers to be covered as possible so these workers would be insured and able to get help when they need it. Almost all employers within the state, therefore, must purchase coverage on employees who they hire to work for them.

Eligibility for Workers Compensation Benefits
Because workers compensation is based not on your work history, but instead on whether you suffered an injury while performing required work, you are not going to have to show a long period of time at your current job, or a long work history at any job, in order to get benefits. Unlike social security disability insurance (SSDI), where you are paying into the system to earn your right to coverage, you will gain your right to workers comp coverage simply by virtue of the fact you were working.
This means that it is usually enough that you were in fact working in an employee capacity at the time when you were injured and that the injury was a direct result of something work-related. Of course, those working under an independent contractor relationship or not considered employees will not typically be covered by workers compensation, so you do need to have actual employee status.
If you have doubts about whether you can qualify for workers compensation benefits based on your work with your employer, a workers compensation lawyer can help you to evaluate your particular situation. Your workers compensation attorney will ensure you actually are a qualified employee by looking at the nature of your relationship with your employer, and will then advise you both on whether you are eligible for benefits and – if so- on how to prove that you are in fact eligible.