When does workers’ compensation eligibility go into effect?
This is a common worry that some workers might have. It may take a few months for other employment benefits to take effect after their first day on the job. So, does the same go for workers’ compensation benefits?
Time on the job does not impact eligibility for benefits
Even though it might be a common worry, there is no base for it.
If the injury occurs in the course of employment to benefit the employer’s interest, the duration of employment does not impact the compensability of a Claim. If the employee was involved in a “training” or “probation” period deemed by the employer, an injured worker still remains eligible for Worker’s Compensation coverage.
Common defenses may include that short-term employment indicated that the worker was an independent contractor, rather than an employee. However, the determination of an independent contractor is a multi-prong test that goes beyond only the duration of employment.
But the risk of injury is high for new employees
Even so, newly hired workers must be aware that even though starting a new job may not affect their eligibility to collect workers compensation, it does increase their risk of an injury.
The high risk of injury for new-hires makes sense – after all, new employees often have limited experience. Additionally, many workers report that they do not receive proper safety training when they begin a new job. There are several reasons for this, from reduced staff to a necessity for high-speed work.
A 2016 report found that:
- 40% of injured workers were on the job for less than a year;
- One in eight work injuries each year occur on the first day of work; and
- New employees are five times more likely to suffer a work injury than other employees.
New workers may face a higher risk of injury, but they can take measures to ensure that they receive the proper training to succeed and stay safe in the workplace. Should a new employee that experiences an on-the-job injury, they should speak with an experienced attorney to discuss their rights.