Can Minors Be Eligible For Workers’ Compensation?
Most people who hear about workplace injuries think of adults on the job who are in dangerous industries like construction, manufacturing, or wholesaling. Yet it is important to remember that workplace injuries in the Tampa area can occur at any type of job, and even younger workers can suffer serious or debilitating injuries. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) begins gathering employment data for people at the age of 16, and the BLS notes that more than 55 percent of young people between the ages of 16-24 are employed at least on a part-time basis. The overall rate of young worker employment rises significantly in the spring and summer when teens and young adults are on summer vacation from high school or home from college.
Nobody likes to imagine the possibility of a part-time high school worker sustaining an injury on the job, but when such injuries do occur, it is important to know how the Florida workers’ compensation system works for minors.
Minors Can be Eligible for Workers’ Compensation
Just like injured adult workers, Florida workers’ compensation law allows minors to seek workers’ compensation benefits when they are injured on the job. Indeed, the Florida Statutes do not separate adult workers from minor workers when it comes to workers’ compensation eligibility.
The statute says that “any person who receives remuneration from an employer for the performance of any work or service while engaged in any employment under any appointment or contract for hire or apprenticeship, express or implied, oral or written, whether lawfully or unlawfully employed, and includes, but is not limited to, aliens and minors.”
Part-Time and Seasonal Workers Are Also Eligible for Workers’ Compensation
Does the law change for minors who only work on a part-time or seasonal basis? To be clear, Florida workers’ compensation law allows both part-time and seasonal workers to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits when an injury happens on the job. It does not matter if the worker is only employed during the summer, or on a part-time basis after school. As long as the minor meets the other requirements for workers’ compensation eligibility, then they can receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Requirements for Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Minors
Minors must meet the same requirements as injured adult workers in order to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Those requirements include the following:
- Injury must have arisen out of the course of employment (i.e., the injury must have occurred in connection with a job duty, regardless of whether it actually occurred on a specific job site);
- Injury must be reported to the employer within 30 days from the date of the injury; and
- Injured worker must seek medical care from a health care provider who is approved by the employer or insurer (with the exception of a one-time initial emergency visit to any nearby health care provider).
Contact a Tampa Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you were injured on the job while working after school or during a college break, you may be eligible to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. One of the experienced Tampa workers’ compensation lawyers at the Franco Law Firm can evaluate your case for you today and discuss your options with you for seeking compensation.