Unfortunately, I still get calls from clients who were injured at work, but their employer advised they cannot file for workers compensation benefits because they do not have workers compensation insurance. Then what?
First, that is not correct. If you are an employee and have been injured at work, then you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. What must happen is the injured worker must file a Notice of Claim with the Pennsylvania Uninsured Employers Guaranty Fund (UEGF). Then, after 20 days, the injured worker can file a Claim Petition against the UEGF. These specific steps must be followed. There are also other timelines involved with filing UEGF.
Second, many uninsured employers tell the injured worker that they are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits because they are a subcontractor and not an employee. There are statutes and case law that dictate whether an individual is an employee, a subcontractor, or an independent contractor. These are very job centric and fact sensitive. In most cases, the employer is simply wrong. It is not an easy burden for an employer to meet the definition of subcontractor.
Finally, it is illegal for an employer to not have workers’ compensation coverage on employees. It does not matter if the employer truly believes the injured worker is a subcontractor. Many times it is a false assumption. An employer may criminal action. Employers in Pennsylvania must cover employees with workers’ compensation insurance. It’s the law.
Uninsured cases can be quite difficult and complex. If you have been injured at work, call Mooney Law today for an absolutely free consultation. We have handled many cases involving the UEGF. Do not go it alone and do not give up your right to benefits, just because your employer tells you that you are not an employee. Call us and we will for your workers’ compensation rights and benefits. Call today at 717-200-HELP or 833-MOONEYLAW.