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What Jobs Are Ineligible for Workers’ Compensation?

June 26, 2023

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The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) provides workers’ compensation insurance to 257,000 public and private employers in the state. If a business has one or more employees, it is legally required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. 

That level of widespread coverage means that most employees in Ohio are covered by workers’ compensation if they get sick or hurt at work. Employees don’t have to be full-time to be covered, either. They can be part-time or seasonal and still receive benefits.

However, there are certain types of jobs and workers who are ineligible for benefits, whether it’s because their employers aren’t required to carry workers’ compensation insurance or because they’re ineligible for their employers’ existing coverage.

Read on to learn more about what professions may NOT be covered.

Contract Jobs

People who work in contractor roles aren’t eligible for workers’ compensation, even if the companies they work for have workers’ compensation insurance. That’s because they aren’t considered employees, but are instead considered self-employed or sole proprietorships.

Contract jobs can vary widely and can include:

  • Freelance work
  • Home repair work
  • Food delivery
  • Rideshare services
  • Trucking
  • And more

Domestic Jobs

People who do sporadic work in and around private homes aren’t eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. However, if they earn $160 or more in a single quarter from a single employer, that home or property owner who hired them is required to provide workers’ compensation insurance.

People who do domestic work that may be ineligible for workers’ compensation based on their quarterly pay include:

  • Babysitters
  • Housekeepers
  • Landscapers
  • Gardeners
  • And more

Federal Government Jobs

People who work for the U.S. federal government aren’t eligible for workers’ compensation benefits through the BWC after on-the-job illnesses and injuries. Instead, they’re eligible for benefits through the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA). While this act provides benefits for employment-related injuries and illnesses in a similar manner as the BWC, it has different requirements and a different application process.

Volunteer Jobs

People who work as volunteers are ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits unless they provide emergency services and get injured while on the job.

These volunteer jobs include:

  • Volunteer firefighters
  • Volunteer emergency medical technicians
  • Volunteer police officers/highway patrol

Jobs with Religious Exemptions

Employers who belong to certain religious sects can ask for and receive religious exemptions from purchasing workers’ compensation insurance if their employees also belong to those religions. In Ohio, this exemption most commonly applies to employers in the Amish and Mennonite communities.

However, Amish or Mennonite communities that employ non-Amish or non-Mennonite employees are required to purchase workers’ compensation for those workers.

Self-Insured Jobs

The BWC allows some employers to opt out of buying workers’ compensation insurance if they can prove they have the financial means to provide equivalent income replacement and medical treatment cost benefits to employees directly after they suffer injuries and illnesses.

In order to qualify, employers must meet certain criteria, including:

  • Approval from the Ohio Secretary of State to do business in Ohio
  • Two years of previous BWC insurance coverage
  • Financial stability and readiness
  • The capacity to administer a self-insured program for injured and ill workers
  • An active account with a financial institution in Ohio
  • A BWC-certified Qualified Health Plan (QHP) or medical-management plan

Jobs Where the Employees Aren’t Based in Ohio

Regardless of where their employers are located, people who work in Ohio whether permanently or temporarily for more than 90 consecutive days are considered Ohio employees. These employees must be covered by the BWC’s insurance—even if their employers are based in other states.

However, employees who work in Ohio for only a few days or weeks at a time (and never exceed 90 consecutive days in the state) aren’t covered by the BWC. Instead, they’re covered by the workers’ compensation policies of their employers’ home states.

Foreign companies who have employees working in Ohio for any period of time, including less than 90 consecutive days, must obtain Ohio workers’ compensation coverage for them.

Unsure if You’re Eligible? Contact Our Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyers.

If you filled out a Form W-4 when you started your job, and if you receive a Form W-2 at the beginning of tax filing season, you’re almost certainly eligible for workers’ compensation benefits after an on-the-job injury or illness. And if you filled out a Form W-9 and receive a Form 1099 at the beginning of tax season, there’s still a chance you’re eligible and your employer has misclassified you.

The Ohio workers’ compensation attorneys at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy have the experience you need to help you get the benefits you’re owed after a workplace injury or illness. Contact us anytime for a free consultation. We want to help you get the income replacement and medical cost benefits you deserve.

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