Although workers’ compensation is available to most employees, some workers and jobs are not covered. State laws dictate who is covered and who is exempt from receiving workers’ comp, but the rules are pretty similar from state to state. If you’re wondering who is not covered by workers’ compensation, Below are the different categories of exempts jobs/workers and what to know about them.
What to Know About Those Not Covered By Workers’ Compensation
Although the groups mentioned here are not covered by traditional workers’ compensation insurance, they typically have access to other forms of insurance or legal options if a work injury occurs. In some situations, certain workers may be able to get coverage if their employer gives notice to the state. Either way, it’s good to know the options.
Here are the different jobs and positions not typically covered by workers’ compensation (as outlined in Georgia Code § 34-9-2).
Instead of workers’ compensation, railroad employees are covered by the Federal Employers’ Liability Act. Also known as the Railroad Workers Act, this law was enacted in 1903 to protect railroad workers who get hurt on the job.
Through this Act, injured railroad workers are able to sue their employer if they can demonstrate the railroad was at least partially negligent in the accident that caused their injury. They can seek benefits like medical, lost wages, and sometimes pain and suffering compensation.
A farm laborer is anyone employed by a business connected to the raising, feeding, and caring of wildlife. Farm laborers are typically exempt from workers’ compensation coverage. However, in Georgia, a farm laborer’s employer can elect to provide workers’ comp coverage if they provide notice to the state.
A federal employee is anyone employed within one of the three United States government branches. This includes employees, civil officers, and those rendering services similar to an employee or civil officer of the government.
Although federal employees are not eligible for workers’ compensation, they are covered by the Federal Employee’s Compensation Act (FECA). Benefits through FECA after a work injury or illness include:
- Medical benefits
- Total and partial disability benefits
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Death benefits
A longshoreman is a worker who loads, unloads, or builds ships in a port. Compensation and benefits for injured longshoremen are provided through the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. Benefits include medical care, income compensation, and vocational rehabilitation.
Independent contractors, consultants, and freelancers are generally not covered by workers’ compensation. These workers are classified as exempt through a 1099 form and pay for their own income tax. This typically means they cannot receive workers’ compensation.
However, there may be situations under Georgia law where these types of workers may still be classified as an employee who is entitled to workers’ compensation. If you are an independent contractor and unsure of your qualifications, contact the person you are providing services for or a Georgia workers’ compensation lawyer.
Sole proprietors can also elect to be covered by workers’ comp as an employee if they advise their insurance company in writing.
Some Business Owners
Businesses in Georgia must provide workers’ compensation if they have three or more regular employees. This might exempt very small businesses from coverage. However, if the business is incorporated, the employer and all officers count as employees. While officers can elect to be exempt from coverage, they still count towards the requirement for carrying workers’ compensation insurance.
Since volunteers are providing services or work that is unpaid, they are typically not categorized as employees eligible for workers’ compensation. There are some exceptions, though.
Volunteer law enforcement personnel, firefighters, emergency response personnel, and fire responders are covered even though they fall under a volunteer status.
Speaking to a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer About Coverage
Normally, an injured worker would hire a workers’ compensation lawyer for help after a work injury. For the above situations, the injured worker may need to work with a lawyer who specializes in these specific industry accidents.
Other times, an employee might not know whether or not they are covered by workers’ compensation and can reach out to a Georgia workers’ compensation lawyer for help. Some employers are not straightforward about coverage with their employers (or might not carry the coverage they are supposed to have). If you need help or have questions after a work injury, contact John Foy & Associates for a FREE consultation at (404) 400-4000.
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When Are Injuries Not Covered By Workers’ Compensation?
Even when an employee is covered by workers’ compensation, there are certain situations where they may not receive benefits after an injury. Work importantly, after a work injury you should:
- Report the injury to a supervisor right away and no later than 30 days after the accident happens
- Complete and file a Form WC-14 with the SBWC.
- Send a copy of the form to your employer and the insurance company.
- See an authorized doctor as soon as possible, and follow their treatment instructions.
If you do not do these things, you can lose your right to workers’ compensation benefits. Other reasons workers’ compensation claims are denied include disagreements about whether or not the injury was work-related, injuries that happened while illegal activity was being performed, or filing a claim for a condition that isn’t covered.
If you are denied any benefits, you do have the option to request a hearing before the SBWC. An administrative law judge (ALJ) will listen to both sides of the claim and determine whether you should receive any benefits and, if so, what they should be.
It’s best to work with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer who can represent you during this hearing (and the rest of your case).
Talk to a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Georgia for Free Today
It’s normal to have a lot of questions about workers’ compensation coverage. Although your employer should make it clear that benefits are available, they may fail in this duty. If you need help with your claim, contact John Foy & Associates today.
With more than 20 years of experience, we know what it takes to win cases. We’ll give you a FREE consultation to go over the details of your claim and discuss your options. To get started with your FREE consultation, call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.