Who and What Does Workers' Compensation Cover?

Workers' compensation is available for all employees. If you are injured while working at a part time job, you are still eligible for workers' compensation benefits, and your rate allows wages from second or third jobs to be considered in determining your average weekly wage.

If you are an independent contractor as opposed to an employee, you are not be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. However, it is important to determine your true position. If you are subject to the control of your employer in terms of the means and methods in which you perform your work—even if your employer calls you an independent contractor and does not take taxes out of your paycheck—you would probably be considered an employee and therefore eligible for workers' comp.

Workers' compensation insurance may provide coverage for:

  • An injury suffered on the property of your employer (including repetitive stress injuries) regardless of how the injury occurred or who was at fault.
  • An illness caused by some kind of job exposure, such as noise exposure or exposure to hazardous chemicals.

Covered injuries and illnesses can include pre-existing conditions that worsened as a result of work duties if your job requirements were the major cause of the disability. Often, illnesses such as heart attacks and strokes are covered by the Workers' Compensation Act if linked to some physical or emotional stress incurred on the job. This determination may even be made regardless of other risk factors such as cigarette smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, family history, or other factors.