Many of our clients assume that seasonal workers aren’t entitled to workers comp benefits. However, as long as you meet the requirements for benefits, your claim should be approved. If your claim has been denied, our Orlando workers comp attorneys can help.
There Are Certain Groups of Workers Who Aren’t Eligible for Workers Comp Benefits
For the most part, all workers who are injured on the job should be entitled to workers comp benefits. However, there are certain groups that aren’t eligible for these benefits.
When you first meet with your Orlando workers comp attorney, let them know what you do for a living. Bring a copy of your job description if possible. This way, your workers’ compensation lawyer in Orlando will know if you’re eligible to apply for workers comp benefits.
State and Federal Workers Are Excluded From Workers Comp Benefits
One of the groups that are not eligible for workers comp benefits is state and federal workers. These employees have their own programs they can rely on for protection if they’re hurt on the job.
For example, federal employees are able to apply for assistance through the Federal Employees Compensation Program. Like Florida’s workers’ compensation system, the FECP provides injured workers with medical care and replacement wages.
Many Other Groups Are Not Able to Collect Benefits
Some of the other categories of employees who aren’t eligible for workers comp benefits in Orlando include the following:
- Some agricultural workers (depending on the number of employees)
- Domestic workers employed by a household (less than 4 workers)
- Casual workers
- Independent contractors
- Railroad workers
Of course, this list is not exhaustive. There are other niche professions that are not entitled to workers comp benefits. However, these are the most common. If you belong to one of these groups, you won’t be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Are Seasonal Workers Considered Employees According to Florida Law?
One of the keys to whether you’ll be entitled to workers comp benefits depends on how you’re classified. According to Florida Code §440.02 (15)(a), the definition of an employee for workers compensation purposes is rather broad.
Specifically, to be considered an employee in Orlando, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must be paid by the employer
- To perform any work
- Under the appointment of the employer
- With a written or constructive contractual relationship
Your Orlando workers comp attorney must show that you meet these requirements for you to benefit from workers comp. They’ll look at the duties you perform, the way you were hired, and how you are paid.
What is the Difference Between Casual Workers and Seasonal Employees?
It is important to distinguish between a seasonal worker and a casual worker. Casual employees are not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. The law is clear on that.
Some of the differences between the two include:
- Casual workers perform work for their employer for less than 10 days
- Seasonal workers spent up to 6 months working for their employer
- Casual workers earn less than $500 while working for a company
- Seasonal workers can earn any amount
- Casual workers can work at any time, with no set pattern
- Seasonal workers tend to return to work at the same time of year, every year
Your workers’ compensation lawyer in Orlando will have to weigh these factors against your employment arrangement. If you do qualify as a seasonal worker, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be eligible for workers comp benefits.
Orlando is Home to Many Seasonal Workers
If you live in Orlando, you know that it’s a great tourist spot. A lot of people go to Orlando for vacation. This means that there are a lot of seasonal jobs available to young people, students, and other workers.
This is why our Orlando workers comp attorneys represent so many seasonal workers. The biggest problem we run into is that some people who think they’re seasonal workers assume they’re not eligible for workers comp benefits.
Our Orlando Workers Comp Attorneys Can Help You Get the Benefits You Deserve
We always urge injured workers to contact a workers compensation lawyer in Orlando as soon as possible after their workplace accident. The last thing you want to do is assume you aren’t entitled to benefits and, as a result, not file a claim.
If you wait too long to speak with an Orlando workers comp attorney, you may miss a chance to file your claim. You may also wait too long to report your injury to your supervisor or Human Resources Manager.
How Long Do You Have to Report an Injury and File Your Claim in Orlando?
In Florida, you only have 30 days to report your workplace injury. If you fail to do this, your claim will probably be denied. In addition, according to Florida Workers Compensation Statute §440.19, the statute of limitations for workers’ compensation, is 2 years.
If you fail to file your claim within two years, you’ll be barred from applying for workers comp benefits.
Your Employer May Have You Classified as a Casual Worker or Independent Contractor
Your Orlando workers comp attorney will reach out to your employer to see how they have you classified. If you’re code as a casual workers instead of a seasonal worker, your claim will be denied.
If this happens, your workers’ compensation lawyer in Orlando will have to appeal your claim. They will also have to submit proof showing that you are, in fact, and employee.
If Your Claim is Approved, Do You Receive the Same Benefits as Regular Employees?
If you’re lucky, your claim will be approved. Once you’ve missed seven days from work, you’ll qualify for weekly benefits. You should start to receive these benefits in about a week or two after the first seven days have passed.
You’ll also be entitled to medical coverage. Any medical treatment you need in relation to your workplace accident will be covered. Of course, if your claim is denied, you’ll have to pay for your medical care out-of-pocket.
You May Receive Less in Weekly Benefits Depending on Your Schedule
It’s important that you remember that your weekly benefits won’t be as much as your normal paycheck. Since seasonal workers don’t stay with a company for more than six months, your benefits may be less than you initially thought.
When one thinks about it, seasonal workers rarely work full-time. Your schedule probably fluctuates. This means it will be more difficult to determine exactly how much you’ll be entitled to every week.
Contact One of Our Workers Compensation Lawyers in Orlando
If you’re a seasonal worker in Orlando and get hurt on the job, you should be entitled to workers comp benefits. If your claim is denied, however, you could walk away with nothing. Our Orlando workers comp attorneys can help make sure this doesn’t happen.
We suggest you contact our office and schedule your free, initial consultation. You can show your file to one of our skilled workers compensation lawyers in Orlando. They’ll let you know if they think your claim has merit. They’ll also explain what your options are.