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Does workers' compensation cover all employees?

Posted on in Firm News

There are many misconceptions regarding workers' compensation, a state benefit available to employees. Every state has slightly different laws governing workers' compensation and requirements for employers in terms of providing workers' compensation insurance.

While workers' compensation insurance is available in all 50 states, each state decides whether a particular employer must offer this insurance as a benefit to his or her employees. Therefore, not all employers cover their workers with this type of insurance, and you should inform yourself about whether your particular job includes this type of insurance as a benefit.

Workers' compensation requirements

In Texas, state law does not require employers to carry workers' compensation insurance, even though many employers do so anyway. In contrast, in the state of Illinois, the Workers' Compensation Act mandates that all employers with at least one employee, even if that one employee is part-time, must carry workers' compensation insurance. These differences from state to state demonstrate why it is important that you find out what coverage your employer provides. If state law requires your employer to carry this insurance coverage and he or she does not, that is a legal violation and could be grounds for a lawsuit if you suffer an injury on the job and need to seek payment for your medical expenses and other damages such as lost wages.

How coverage works

Generally speaking, there is a specific time frame under which you must inform your employer of any injury you suffer while at work for the insurance benefits process to begin. Therefore, if you do suffer an injury on the job, tell your employer about it as soon as possible. This will get the ball rolling so your employer can submit your insurance claim.

In some cases, an insurer may deny benefits or pay out less than you need to cover your expenses. In cases such as those, as well as cases in which an employer did not carry the necessary coverage, a special compliance division within the state's workers' compensation benefits office may handle the issue. You may need to appeal the decision or seek the professional assistance of a workers' compensation attorney to move forward with your claim.

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