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Understanding exemptions for workers compensation programs

When workers are injured, no matter the industry, it can be a shocking experience. Even when there are high risks and dangers associated with a job, many employees in Connecticut and elsewhere are not prepared to deal with the aftermath of a workplace accident. This is especially true if an employee of a small company or contractor is injured, but the employer has not paid into a workers' compensation program.

In order to receive workers' compensation benefits due to a work injury or illness, employers must pay for state workers compensation coverage. This allows employees to be covered under an employer's insurance policy. However, there are exemptions for certain workers.

Independent contractors are exempt from workers' compensation in some states. While the term "employee" is attached to independent contractors, the reality is that they are not an employee and are characterized as a self-employed individual. Additionally, some small businesses can seek a waiver or exemption from being covered by workers compensation in the state. This depends on the regulations and terms within the state.

So, what does it mean if an independent contractor or small business is exempt or waived form having workers' compensation benefits? This could impact those injured on the job. Nonetheless, those harmed in the workplace could take other steps to protect themselves if they suffer a long-term or permanent injury. It is important to understand what rights these individuals have to pursue compensation. Additionally, there are other options, such as disability benefits.

No matter where you work or the cause of a work injury or illness, it is important to understand what steps you could take to protect yourself. A work injury or illness is likely to cause various losses and damages, and it is important to understand what you can do to recover any financial assistance and benefits.

Source: Thebalance.com, "Worker's Compensation Exemptions for Independent Contractors," Jean Murray, Aug. 8, 2016

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