Eligibility for Workers’ Compensation in Pennsylvania

July 17, 2015

The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act helps to protect injured workers in Pennsylvania. It requires that all employers have workers’ compensation for their full-time, part-time and seasonal employees. But the Act does not insist that employers cover contractors in their insurance. This means that there are a large number of people in and around Philadelphia who are not eligible for workers’ compensation if they are hurt on the job. A person who sustains a workplace injury could face thousands of dollars in medical expenses and lost wages – money that will come out of their own pockets if they are no insured.

Which groups of workers are usually ineligible for workers’ comp?

There are certain industries that tend to have more workers who are contractors, and thus ineligible for workers’ compensation under Pennsylvania law. Some of those people include:

  • Day laborers. People who work manual labor jobs are usually not insured by workers’ compensation. Construction, landscaping and agriculture tend to have the highest number of uninsured workers.
  • Self-employed workers. If you are a freelance worker, you are not required to have workers’ compensation insurance. But you may not know that the people who hire you are not required to cover you, either. If you are injured while doing a job for another person or company, you may not be able to collect benefits.
  • Certain groups of volunteers – like non-union fire fighters, for example – are allowed to collect workers’ compensation if they are injured or become ill as a result of fighting fires. Most volunteers, however, are not covered. If you volunteer at a local animal shelter here in Philadelphia and are bitten by a dog, you might have to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to collect any compensation for your injuries.
  • Domestic workers. If you work for a service where you have taxes withdrawn, then you should be eligible for workers’ compensation. But for nannies, caregivers, cleaning people and other domestic workers – especially those who live with their employers – workers’ compensation may not be available to you if you are hurt doing your job.

If you have been injured at work, it is very important that you consult with a Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney, like the ones at Larry Pitt & Associates, to find out if you are eligible to collect benefits. Our team of lawyers can help you get the compensation you need in order to heal after an injury. Please contact us to find out more. We proudly serve clients throughout Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties.