Are independent contractors eligible for workers’ compensation benefits?

There are millions of working individuals throughout the state of New Jersey. Some people work as employees while others work as independent contractors. The difference between an independent contractor and an employee is that an employee has fixed hours, only works with the one employer, and uses the tools provided by the employer. Unlike an employee, an independent contractor is in charge of their own schedule, uses their own tools, and works with multiple employers.

In either of these positions of employment, a worker can become injured on the job. When an employee is injured at work, they can usually file a workers’ compensation claim with their employer to receive benefits for their injury and time out of work. One major concern that independent contractors have is whether they are also eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim if they have been injured on the job. Many times, independent contractors work in the same types of jobs as frequently injured employees do, such as construction, electricians, coal mining, crane operating, etc.

When an independent contractor becomes injured, to determine if they can file a workers’ compensation claim depends on their situation. Sometimes, the lines are blurred between whether the worker is an independent contractor or an employee. The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development has created a survey for injured workers to help them evaluate the working relationship between the employer and the worker. There are a number of different questions on the survey including the type of business, how the company’s workers were hired, and how they were paid.

Unfortunately, not all independent contractors are covered. The Department of Labor and Workforce Development will have to assess your claim and determine whether a workers’ compensation claim would be appropriate.

“If an employer enters into a contract, written or verbal, with an independent contractor to do part of such employer’s work….such contract or subcontract shall not bar the liability of the employer for injury caused to an employee of such contractor

If you have questions about your options if you have become injured on the job as an independent contractor, contact MWM today.

The law firm of Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, P.C., is composed of experienced attorneys throughout the states of New Jersey and Delaware. Please contact the office for a free initial consultation and get any questions answered regarding your specific case.