Who is Eligible to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in California?

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At Hanning & Sacchetto, our workers’ compensation attorneys in Whittier understand that there may be some confusion about who is eligible to file a claim after suffering an injury or illness at work in California.

In California, all employers must purchase workers’ compensation insurance, regardless of the number of employees.

Since almost all injuries and illnesses arising at work and related to the job are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, the biggest question is, who is eligible to pursue workers’ compensation benefits after an injury or illness occurs?

Are All California Employees Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

California law presumes anyone who works for an employer to be an employee.

The number of hours an employee works has no bearing on their workers’ compensation entitlement.

The only potential provision that will disallow workers’ compensation benefits is if the injured person is an independent contractor — not an employee — but the burden to prove that is true lies with the employer, not the employee.

The individual in question is an employee unless all three of the following statements are true:

  • The company does not maintain direction or control over the contract or performance of the individual’s work
  • The individual’s work is performed outside the normal scope/type of work carried out by the company
  • The individual’s work is the same as or like the work being performed for the company

According to our California laws, other potentially exempt employees who may not seek workers’ compensation benefits include:

  • Business owners/sole proprietors, unless they are roofers
  • Deputy sheriffs and deputy clerks
  • Individuals who work for aid, including food or housing instead of financial compensation
  • Domestic workers who are related to their employers
  • Students participating in amateur sporting events/amateur sports officials
  • Certain volunteers, including volunteers for non-profit organizations

If you were hurt at work, and believe your employer is purposely misclassifying your position as an independent contractor to avoid paying workers’ compensation benefits, contact our skilled attorneys at Hanning & Sacchetto today for help setting the record straight.

How Does Workers’ Compensation Work in California?

When an employee suffers a work-related accident or becomes ill due to conditions at work, their employer’s workers’ compensation coverage provides compensation for their recovery needs.

That may include:

  • Medical care
  • Supplemental job displacement benefits
  • Return-to-work supplement
  • Temporary disability benefits
  • Permanent disability benefits
  • Death benefits

If you have been hurt at work, contact our skilled workers’ compensation attorneys to ensure you have access to each of the benefits you are entitled to, so you can get your life back on track.

Why Would My California Workers’ Compensation Claim Be Denied?

Simply because California requires all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance does not mean the insurance company is going to immediately write a check for your damages.

Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company might deny your claim if it believes that:

  • There is insufficient evidence of an injury
  • Your injury was not work-related or was due to another job
  • Your injury does not require medical treatment, or you are well enough to return to work.

If you have been injured at work, or have already had your workers’ compensation benefits denied by the insurer, contact our experienced Los Angeles County workers’ compensation attorneys at Hanning & Sacchetto today by calling (562) 698-6446 to learn how we can pursue the benefits you are entitled to, so you can get the medical care and time away from work you need to fully heal.