Workers Who Do Not Qualify To Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Most states require employers to provide their employees with workers’ compensation insurance, but this does not guarantee coverage for all workers. Coverage protects both employers and employees and usually depends on various factors – and depending on these factors you maybe could use a car accident lawyer in Philadelphia, PA.

What is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

Employers pay for this insurance to cover workers who experience job-related injuries or illnesses in exchange for the workers’ agreeing not to sue. The insurance pays for:

  • Medical expenses relating to doctors and hospital visits
  • Disability benefits to cover a percentage of lost wages 
  • Rehabilitation to obtain physical therapy or vocation training for a different job
  • Death and funeral benefits to family members

Who Is Exempt From Coverage?

Although workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory in most states, not all workers are entitled to receive this benefit, as a workers’ compensation lawyer in Philadelphia like one from Wieand Law Firm, LLC can explain. Those who do not qualify for coverage include:


Federal workers. The Federal Employees Compensation Act covers civilian federal employees who may experience physical or occupational job-related injuries. Coverage extends to employees in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the government, postal workers, full and part-time workers, volunteers, federal jurors, Reserve Officer Training Corps students, Coast Guard Auxiliary, and Civil Air Patrol members.

The United States Department of Labor administers this benefit, covering federal employees injured either on the job or away from their physical workplace site while performing job-related duties.

Independent contractors. Workers who receive 1099 forms to document their compensation are usually independent contractors and do not receive workers’ compensation benefits. Some companies will apply this status to full-time workers, thereby reducing their obligation to provide workers’ compensation insurance. 

Maritime workers. Longshore and harbor workers usually receive benefits under The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. Workers receive compensation, medical care, and vocational rehabilitation services for physical and occupational injuries they sustain on navigable United States waters or adjoining areas, such as piers and docks where loading and unloading occur. The act also provides survivor benefits.

Railroad workers. The Federal Employers’ Liability Act pays for medical treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering to injured railroad workers. Under this act, qualifying workers may also sue their employers.

Volunteers. States do not obligate employers to offer workers’ compensation benefits to anyone who does not receive monetary compensation for a job. Volunteer police and firefighters are the exceptions, though some organizations opt to cover their volunteer staff.  

Other Exceptions

Every state has specific rules governing workers’ compensation benefits. Still, most state laws disqualify some categories of workers from receiving benefits, including part-time domestic workers, some farm laborers, and some real estate professionals.


If you experience a job-related injury and are unsure if you qualify for benefits, consult with a knowledgeable workers compensation lawyer in Philadelphia, PA, or possibly a Philadelphia car accident lawyer depending on the situation.


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