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My boss is denying my workers’ compensation, what should I do?

On behalf of Jeffrey Frederick of Frederick & Hagle posted in Workers’ Compensation on Sunday, September 28, 2014.

Contractors in Illinois may be vital on a variety of projects. From working in construction to helping set up computer networks, some companies possibly wouldn’t be able to thrive without independent contractors. However, independent contractors are not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if injured. Sadly, some employers try to deny employees their rightful benefits by simply claiming that the victim was a contractor and not an employee. If you have been a victim of such tactics, there are steps to proving your rightful employment status.

One trademark of independent contractors is who or what they make their services available to. Typically, an employee of a company fulfills their work duties for that company alone, while a contractor makes his or her services available to a wide variety of clients. If you were only employed by the company that you were injured at, and never made your services available elsewhere, this may be helpful for proving your employment status.

Additionally, for this work, an employee can typically expect to be paid by the hour — in some instances by the week or month — in the form of a paycheck, regardless of whether the company turns a profit or not. A contractor can face the potential to lose money if the project he or she is working on doesn’t work out. If they are paid, they may not receive compensation until the project is completely finished. They are usually paid for the entirety of the work they did and not for the time they put in.

Other factors such as whether insurance was provided or if the position was permanent or temporary can affect whether a person in Illinois is considered an employee or a contractor. Even if your official title includes the term contractor, if you fit the position of employee in other aspects, then you may still qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. If you have been wrongly denied your benefits, it can be difficult to handle day-to-day expenses. Proving your employment status can be the first step to ensuring that you can handle those costs during your recovery time.

Source: workerscompensation.com, “Tips for Determining Employee versus Contractor Status“, , Sept. 27, 2014

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