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Are Independent Contractors Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?


Workers’ compensation helps injured workers get back to work sooner by allowing them to get all the medical treatments they need without having to worry about the price. Much to many workers’ dismay, though, workers’ comp is not given to all workers.

If you are an independent contractor, then you most likely do not have workers’ compensation coverage. Most states do not require employers to extend workers’ comp coverage to independent contractors, volunteers, and “casual” employees.

Workers’ Comp for “Independent Contractors”

Don’t assume that you don’t have workers’ compensation because you’re classified as an independent contractor. Right now, there are probably thousands of workers in the country who are classified as independent contractors even though they are employees under the law. You could be one of them.

Employers who make clerical errors while codifying their employees can inadvertently label some as independent contractors. Or more commonly, employers can intentionally label a worker as an independent contractor even though they should be described as an employee.

You might be an employee if you are:

  • Expected to complete tasks specific to your employer’s instructions
  • Provided specific tools or equipment to use while working
  • Given certain benefits like retirement plans and sick pay
  • Required to wear a company outfit

Why would an employer intentionally misclassify you, though? The more employees that an employer has under their workers’ comp policy, the higher the monthly premiums they will have to pay to the insurance company. By misclassifying you and effectively robbing you of your benefits, your employer can save a bit of money each month.

If you were hurt at work in South Dakota but you aren’t sure if you can get any workers’ compensation benefits, then come to Whiting Hagg & Dorsey, LLP. Our attorneys can review your accident and employment status to see if you should be given workers’ comp and what needs to be done if you’re owed it. Contact us now for more information.