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Can Independent Contractors Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Illinois?

April 29th, 2021 at 12:54 pm

contractorEven though all employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, not all those who work for that employer are covered. Technically, only true employees are eligible for coverage under workers’ compensation, but many companies also employ a variety of other workers, such as independent contractors. However, independent contractors are not eligible to receive benefits through workers’ compensation, even if they are injured while working. Some work injuries can be serious and require extensive medical care and time off from work, placing unnecessary stress on you and your family. If you have been injured as an independent contractor and your employer has stated that you are ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits, an Illinois attorney can help.

Employee Misclassification is Common

Even though both independent contractors and employees work for an employer, there are differences in their employment status and benefits. Though there are federal laws to distinguish an employee from an independent contractor, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission considers all workers to have an employment relationship with their employer unless otherwise stated. Misclassifying workers is a common reason why a workers’ compensation claim can be denied by your employer. Misclassifying workers allows employers to avoid paying payroll and unemployment taxes on that worker’s earnings, but it also means the employer can face penalties if they willfully misclassify an employee.

Am I an Employee or an Independent Contractor?

The criteria that the Workers’ Compensation Commission uses to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor is slightly different than the criteria that the federal government uses. According to the Commission, a person is not an independent contractor unless that person:

  • Has and will continue to be free from the employer’s control over their performance of their services;
  • Provides a service either outside of the usual type of business or services the company provides or that service is performed outside of of the company’s locations; and
  • Has an independently established trade, occupation, business, or profession.

Contact a Cook County Workers’ Compensation Attorney

For the average family, being injured at work and being denied workers’ compensation benefits could cause extreme financial stress. It is important that your employer correctly classifies your employment status, but they do not always do this. If you have been injured at work and you are unsure of whether or not you qualify for benefits, you should speak with a skilled Chicago, IL workers’ compensation lawyer. At the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio, we can help you determine whether or not you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits and your options for recovering that compensation. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 630-574-2288.

 

Sources:

https://www2.illinois.gov/idol/Employees/Pages/Employer-Misclassification-of-Workers.aspx

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/iwcc/about/Pages/insurance.aspx

 

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