The type of employee that you are largely determines whether or not you are eligible to collect.
In the state of Missouri, employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Workers compensation is the coverage that an employer must have in the event that one of their employees is injured while on the job. To make sure that an employer can cover the cost of an employee’s injuries, workers’ compensation insurance is in place to protect everyone.
There are times when an employee is eligible for workers’ compensation, and then other times when they are not. The type of employee that you are largely determines when you are eligible to collect and when you aren’t. The trade-off to workers compensation insurance is that if you are injured on the job and are eligible for benefits, you cannot sue your employer.
Who Are Exempt?
There are specific types of employees who are exempt from workers’ compensation eligibility. If you aren’t officially an “employee” with a company, then you probably will not be covered, which is why it is important to understand what your role is within a company.
Sometimes employees think that they are covered – but when something happens, employers will try to deny them benefits by insisting that the employee was exempt from eligibility. Those occupations which are usually exempt are:
- Farm workers or agricultural workers
- Casual workers (like a handyman) or seasonal workers (like landscapers)
- Domestic employees like a cleaner or a babysitter
- Clergy members and ministers
- Real estate agents
- Independent contractors or consultants
Also, some industries do not participate in workers’ compensation and have different benefits programs. For instance, those who work at sea are covered under the “Jones Act.” Also, railroad employees have a different type of workers’ compensation coverage.
What about Undocumented Workers?
Undocumented workers are often not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Since they didn’t have the proper documents to be an employee, they usually cannot be covered under workers’ compensation insurance. It is usually considered on a case-by-case basis, whether an undocumented worker is covered or not typically depends on the specifics of the worker’s injury and arrangements made by the employer.
If you are injured while on the job, there are times when you will be covered by workers’ compensation and others when you will not. Although asking ahead of time is the best way to a get clarification, often employees don’t really consider it until they need to make a claim – and by then, it is too late.
Understanding Your Legal Rights
If you think that you are eligible for workers’ compensation but your employer denies you benefits, then your only recourse is to hire a St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyer to defend your case. Since there are many gray areas for some occupations or undocumented workers, you will want to have someone in your corner to get you the fair compensation that you deserve.