Am I Eligible for Workers' Compensation in Louisiana?
Generally speaking, most people working in Louisiana are covered by workers' compensation insurance, whether they live in Louisiana or commute to work from a nearby state such as Mississippi. In addition, undocumented workers are covered unless a specific exception, such as one of those listed below, applies to the worker's job. Coverage begins on day one of employment; there is no “vesting” period as you may have with other benefits.
The Exceptions to the General Rule that Every Employee is Covered
There are several exceptions to the general rule, but it's important to pay attention to these in case your job falls under one of them.
· If you work for someone in their home – popularly called “domestic work” – you are probably not entitled to Louisiana workers' compensation benefits. However, you may be entitled to receive payments from your employer's homeowners' or auto insurance policy if you happen to be injured while on the job.
· If you're a professional musician and are performing under a performance contract, you're not eligible for workers' compensation coverage while performing under that contract.
· Real estate brokers or agents operating under a licensed real estate broker are not eligible for workers' compensation in Louisiana.
· If you do temporary work for a private farm, you may not be entitled to workers' compensation benefits, but the circumstances of this exclusion are quite limited. If your net earnings from working at that farm are more than $1000 per year, or if the total net earnings of all employees at that farm are more than $2500 per year, then you should be eligible for workers' compensation coverage.
· Executive officers who work for not-for-profit organizations, uncompensated officers, and board members of not-for-profit organizations are not eligible for coverage. Volunteers who are injured while volunteering for a not-for-profit are also not covered.
· While most public employees are eligible for workers' compensation coverage in Louisiana, certain public officials, including sheriff's deputies, are not. Generally speaking, a “public official” is someone who has been elected or appointed to their governmental position.
· If your job is regulated by one of several federal laws, in particular, the Federal Employer's Liability Act, the Harbor Worker Compensation Act, or the Jones Act (a law regulating marine commerce), then you are not eligible for workers' compensation coverage under Louisiana law. This includes employees of railroads that cross state lines or that operate internationally.
· Finally, many independent contractors are not eligible for workers' compensation coverage in Louisiana, except where the independent contractor spends a substantial amount of time performing “manual labor.” And in most cases, independent contractors who drive are generally not considered to be performing “manual labor” and are not eligible for workers' compensation coverage. Truck owner-operators whose contracts identify them as independent contractors are also generally not eligible for workers' compensation coverage.
Delsa Law Firm, LLC, Can Help with Questions About Workers' Compensation
If you're uncertain whether you are eligible for workers' compensation benefits after an on-the-job accident, you should first check with your employer. If your employer says you're not, and you have questions about whether that's truly the case, contact the Delsa Law Firm, LLC. Attorney Delsa has been representing clients in workers' compensation disputes all over Louisiana for years and can help you determine whether you're entitled to workers' compensation benefits. And because we regularly help clients recover for personal injuries sustained in a wide range of circumstances, even if you're not eligible for workers' compensation benefits, we can tell you whether you may be able to recover on a personal injury claim.
To learn more about how the Delsa Law Firm, LLC, can help you with workers' compensation or personal injury claims, contact us at (985) 882-1222 or through our online form. Our office is conveniently located in Slidell, near the intersection of interstates 10, 12, and 59.