Georgia workers’ compensation law requires employers to provide workers’ compensation to employees, but this does not usually include contractors. To apply for workers’ compensation benefits, it is required that a person is considered an “employee” of a company as defined by Georgia law. Usually, independent contractors are excluded from this definition but the law is complex and there are exceptions to this that may allow for contractors to apply for w/c benefits.
Misclassifying an employee as a contract worker can be detrimental to both employees and employers. So, it is important that both parties understand the ins and outs of workers’ compensation laws having to do with contractors.
If you are confused about whether your employment status allows you to apply for workers’ compensation, book an appointment at our office today. Our firm offers a free initial consultation with a talented attorney for all new clients.
The General Rule
While most employers are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees, independent contractors generally do NOT count as “employees” from a legal standpoint. Though the law allows employers to provide workers’ compensation to contractors, they are not required to and are disincentivized from doing so as it incurs more costs.
To be considered an “independent contractor,” at least 4 of the following must be true:
- Their success depends on the relationship between their receipts and expenditures
- They have recurring liabilities or obligations connected to their business
- They experience a profit or loss connected to the work that they do
- They are compensated on a per-job basis
- They are responsible for completing work satisfactorily
- They incur expenses related to their work
- They have agreed to perform services in exchange for compensation
- They are compensated for their work or services on a competitive-bid basis
- They have no need to complete the employment application process
- Their business has more than one bank account that exists for the purpose of paying expenses
- They receive financial compensation for the work they perform
- They have a federal employer ID number
- They maintain their own facilities for working or their own vehicle, equipment, or materials
Possessing four or more of these defining features of “independent contractors” may not actually disqualify you from applying for workers’ compensation benefits.
Given the complexity of the law, it is best for you as a contractor to seek the help of a skilled attorney to figure out how your specific employment circumstances affect your ability to apply for workers’ compensation benefits.
If you are an independent contractor who cannot apply for workers’ compensation benefits, there are other options for coverage you may want to think about. You may want to consider disability insurance or personal injury insurance to ensure that you are covered for any potential injuries that may occur on the job.
Contact Our Office for a Free Consultation
At Calvin Smith Law, we are dedicated to satisfying our clients’ legal needs in the area of workers’ compensation. Contact us to have an experienced lawyer help you determine your employment status and whether you are able to apply for workers’ compensation benefits.
Call us at 404-383-7552 to schedule your free initial consultation today.