Extending Your Student Visa

A student visa that lets you study at the university of your choice is a terrific thing for you. But what happens if your studies take longer than you planned? On top of exams and term papers, you may have to worry about your student visa expiring. That’s where an immigration lawyer can be your best friend. Understanding how immigration laws work can be the first step to making sure that you keep your student visa in good standing. My blog is all about immigration issues, especially those faced by foreign students. Check out the articles for more information that you can use to complete your studies in the country you chose to study in.

How Does Workers' Compensation Work If You're Self-Employed?

Law Blog

Whether you own your own business or perform freelance work for other companies, working for yourself can be a bit of an adventure in its own right. Not only are there plenty of opportunities to take advantage of, there are also unique challenges that come with being your own boss.

One such challenge is how to handle the issue of workers' compensation. By taking an in-depth look at the following, you'll learn when you'll need your own coverage, as well as whether or not you can still benefit from it.

When Do You Need Coverage?

Workers' compensation is just one of several must-have items for an average company. Not only does it help protect companies in the event of a serious work injury, but it's also a mandatory requirement due to state regulations. Every company that employs one person or more must have adequate workers' comp coverage. This also extends to self-employed people who decide to expand their businesses by hiring one or more people.

If you have one person or more on your payroll, then you'll definitely need to have workers' comp insurance as required by your state's statutes. Of course, this only counts as long as you have salaried or hourly wage-earning employees under your company's direct employ. In most cases, sole proprietors are usually exempt from workers' comp requirements, leaving them free to decide whether or not to carry the coverage for their own benefit.

Exceptions to the Rule

Speaking of freelancers and independent contractors, the rules are different when dealing with these types of self-employed workers. Like sole proprietors, those working under a freelance capacity aren't required to carry workers' comp coverage. So if you choose to work as a freelancer or independent contractor, then you won't have to worry about carrying your own coverage unless you wish to do so anyway.

This also works to the benefit of companies that regularly hire freelancers for various projects. As long as the freelancer in question isn't under the company's direct employ, the company remains free of any obligation to cover them under its workers' comp coverage. However, there are a few cases where freelancers and independent contractors may be entitled to workers' comp regardless of their status, as explained below.

Can You Benefit from Others' Coverage?

As a freelancer or independent contractor, you're not under the direct employ of any company, which means you won't be able to benefit from said company's workers' compensation coverage. But that doesn't mean you're completely out in the cold. For starters, you can purchase your own workers' comp coverage from insurers specializing in insuring the self-employed. Such coverage may be expensive, but they also provide an effective shield against the steep medical costs and lost wages that often come with a serious injury.

There are also a couple of cases where you can still receive compensation from a company you're contracted with:

  • Some states require primary contractors to cover their subcontractors under their workers' comp insurance, but only if the subcontractors lack their own coverage. This means you may still be able to file for workers' comp benefits if you're working as a subcontractor for another company.
  • Even if you're not eligible to file for workers' compensation benefits, you can still file a personal injury lawsuit against the company in question. It's a more expensive and time-consuming route, but it may be the only alternative in some cases.
  • If you're classified as an independent contractor but working in ways that would have you otherwise classified as an employee, then you may be entitled to workers' comp benefits. It's not uncommon for companies to misclassify their workers in an attempt to cut costs and withhold benefits. However, it's unlawful and liable to land the offending company in hot water.

It's always a good idea to speak to a seasoned workers' compensation lawyer, like one from Gilbert, Blaszcyk & Milburn LLP, if you have any other questions about workers' comp coverage.


28 August 2017