While workers’ compensation is in place in New York to assist an injured worker who suffered a workplace accident, there is occasionally confusion as to who can and cannot receive benefits through the law. In some instances, a person might not be aware that he or she is not eligible to receive benefits and, when he or she suffers a workplace injury, the person is left without coverage. Having an understanding of who is not covered by workers’ compensation can be beneficial as the worker may then be aware of the need to seek alternative avenues.

The following are generally not eligible for workers’ compensation: those who volunteer for a nonprofit organization; those in the clergy or who are part of a religious order and are injured while performing their duties; people who are taking part in a supervised amateur athletic activity which is a nonprofit as long as they are not participating as official representatives of a corporation; those in a teaching capacity for nonprofits through educational, charitable or religious institutions; and those who are working in a non-manual capacity for an educational, charitable or religious institution – manual labor is considered filing, carrying materials, cleaning, playing musical instruments, mowing a lawn and other activities.

Also ineligible for workers’ compensation are: those who are receiving charitable aid from a charitable or religious institution and they are performing work in exchange for it and are not under contract for hire; those who are covered for other workers’ compensation in a specific trade, such as federal government employees and those in maritime trades; the spouse and minor children of a farmer provided they are not under express contract; employees of foreign governments and Native American Nations; people, including minors, who are doing casual work around the house; real estate people, media sales representatives, and insurance agents or brokers who have a contract stating that they are an independent contractor; and sole proprietors, partners and those who are single or two person corporate officers without others providing services for the business.

A mistake that an injured worker can make is believing that he or she is covered by workers’ compensation when there is no coverage under the law. If that is the case, then it might be necessary to seek alternative methods for compensation. For assistance with a case involving work-related injuries, it is wise to consider discussing the matter with a qualified legal professional to learn the next step.

Source: wcb.ny.gov, “Who Is Not Covered By The Workers’ Compensation Law?,” accessed on Aug. 9, 2016