You aced your interview and you have been hired as a new employee. You attended orientation and paid close attention during the safety training. Yet, during your first day, week, month or year on the job, you find yourself sidelined because you have sustained a work-related injury or illness. Understandably, you start to worry. Do you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits even though you are so new to the job?
There is no easy answer to this question. Workers’ compensation laws differ from state to state. In addition, the particulars of your unique circumstance need to be taken into account before this question can be answered in regards to your situation specifically. It is for these reasons that you may benefit from speaking to an attorney licensed in your state. An attorney will likely be able to aid you in exploring any legal options available to you.
As you wait for your appointment with an attorney, take comfort in the fact that the workers’ compensation laws do not generally prohibit workers from qualifying for benefits simply because they have not been employed for long. True, some exceptions may apply. And individuals who are employed as contractors may not be eligible for the same protections as employees are. However, when injuries and illnesses are work-related, workers’ compensation benefits are usually made available in regards to those conditions.
If your injury or illness does not inhibit your ability to work, workers’ compensation may not be available to you. But if you are injured or ill and your ability to work has been compromised, please consider applying for workers’ compensation benefits with the aid of an experienced attorney.
Source: Findlaw Injured, “How Long Do I Have to Be Employed to Get Workers' Comp?” Christopher Coble, June 24, 2015