Being hurt on the job can be devastating. You might be facing missed time at work, lost wages, and medical bills piling up and up.
However, being injured while on the job can also entitle you and your family to certain workers’ compensation benefits. Here are the basic requirements for workers’ compensation eligibility in Colorado.
1. Your employer must carry workers’ compensation insurance
In Colorado, all private and public employers are required to provide coverage for workers’ compensation to employees. There are a few exceptions, but most entities that hire employees are required to have it.
Exceptions include some domestic workers and farm workers.
In Colorado, there are three ways in which an employer may obtain workers' compensation coverage:
- Commercial Insurance
- Self-Funding (Individual)
- Self-Funding (Groups and/or Pools)
According to the Colorado Department of Labor:
“Workers’ compensation insurance coverage is paid by the employer. Employers purchase insurance coverage through a commercial insurance carrier or, if qualified, through self-insurance programs. No portion of the premium may be deducted from an employee’s wages.”
2. You are a verified employee
In order to receive workers’ compensation benefits, you must be an employee of the company offering the insurance. Colorado defines “employee” as a person “hired to perform services for pay,” which includes “all persons elected or appointed to public sector service and all persons appointed or hired by private employers for remuneration.”
There are a few exceptions to this as well. For example, independent contractors and volunteers sometimes aren’t eligible for workers’ comp. Other states don’t cover volunteer firefighters and people who volunteer for search and rescue parties, but Colorado law covers these individuals as well.
If your injury or illness is the direct result of working for your employer, you are eligible for workers’ comp. While this may seem cut-and-dry, some instances of injury can cause dispute. For example, if you are injured on your lunch break or during a company event, it may not be so straightforward.
Need an attorney who knows Colorado workers’ comp laws?
If you’ve been injured on the job in Colorado and are facing pushback when it comes to obtaining your workers’ compensation benefits, I am ready to stand with you. As an experienced attorney, I understand the complexities of workers’ compensation and offer free consultations to clients like you. Contact us today if you need help.