While most employers are required to carry a workers’ compensation insurance policy, not every worker injury is covered by such policies. The policies are meant to provide coverage for expenses such as medical bills and lost wages that occur after a worker is injured on the job. But not all workers qualify for the coverage and not all injuries are “on the job.”
Certain types of workers are not covered by workers’ compensation requirements. Coverage requirements are determined by laws in each state, but workers that are commonly not covered include contract or freelance workers, seasonal workers and domestic workers. Domestic workers are employees that work in the homes of and are paid by other individuals, such as housekeepers and nannies. Housekeepers that work for a firm that provides such services are usually covered by the firm’s workers’ compensation plan.
If you are covered under a workers’ compensation plan, you might also be required to show that injuries were suffered in a work-related accident. If you clock out and get in an accident on the way home from your job, that is not considered a work-related accident. If you are a delivery driver and you are in an accident in the course of a delivery, injuries sustained in that accident might be deemed work-related.
Workers’ compensation insurance companies might also refuse to pay claims if an injury is deemed to be pre-existing. For example, if you have a history of back pain and injury and report a back-related injury at work, the insurance company might say that some of your expenses are related to the pre-existing condition. In such cases, you do have rights and you can seek legal assistance for dealing with compensation claims.
Source: FindLaw, “What Types of Injuries are Compensable Under Workers’ Compensation?,” accessed Aug. 21, 2015