Can Under-The-Table Employees Get Workers’ Comp?
First off, what is an under-the-table worker? The technical term for this type of employee is an “unreported employee.” In casual conversation, this type of work is also known as working cash-in-hand or working off the books. Jobs like this can vary in degree. Often, a person can be a domestic worker, an undocumented worker, or uncertified to do the work they are doing. This person would never have a pay stub, pay taxes on their income, or even have proof that their employer ever employed them. Some organizations estimate that worldwide there are 1.8 billion people who are considered to work in this sector. So, can under-the-table employees get workers’ comp?
But second off, what is workers’ comp? It isn’t healthcare, even though it may cover medical bills and health-related expenses. It isn’t something an employee can opt into; it is coverage that some businesses are required to have and others choose to have. Workers’ comp is a type of insurance. Workers’ compensation may cover all or some of your medical needs as well as a portion of the average weekly salary of the person filing the claim, depending on the state, employer, and policy. Funeral costs and legal fees may be covered by workers’ compensation too.
How Can You File A Claim?
Employers should have the workers’ compensation insurance carrier information posted where it has high visibility. However, that doesn’t mean they’ll do that, and you can always ask them. If they refuse, contact the Bureau of Employee Assistance and Ombudsman. This office exists to answer questions about the workers’ compensation system and assist people with problems or disputes when they file their claims. Any number or email here will get you in touch with a state representative. Once the information is acquired, file that injury. The sooner, the better, but typically claims have to be filed within thirty days of the date a doctor decides the injury is work-related. If the window is missed, the result will likely be a denied claim.
Filing any worker’s comp claim may require legal assistance, and if the employee is off the books, it is ill-advised to pursue claims or action without legal representation. Getting injured workers the compensation they deserve is one of Franco Law Firm’s areas of expertise, including under-the-table employees.
What Injuries Can You File A Claim Over?
Suppose you are hurt or developed an illness as a direct result of your job-related duties—if it can be proved, you should be able to receive compensation. The injury needs to be severe enough to require medical care — if you need a bandaid and an ice pack, it probably isn’t covered by workers’ compensation. However, sprains and strains, burns, eyes injuries, lacerations, continuous trauma, or repetitive stress injuries can generally be covered.
If you are continually exposed to chemicals that cause damage to your body, that may be covered too. Mental health conditions can be covered as well, but there have to be physical symptoms in the state of Florida. The bodily injury must be at least 50-percent responsible for the person’s medical condition. Injuries that a company can’t be held responsible for are ones related to horseplay, alcohol or drugs, or injuries that occur on your commute.
Successfully Filing is Only the Beginning
Even when a person accomplishes filing a claim as an under-the-table employee, there will likely be no hard or fast proof of how much money you were earning per week for the past year. The average weekly salary of the person filing the claim is the figure that determines the amount they receive in benefits. It is still absolutely possible to successfully file a claim as an unreported employee and get the compensation you deserve. There are many things like documentation of injury and tax complications that may make your claim complex.
A law firm with expertise in workers’ compensation and testimonials of past positive results is the legal representation you deserve. At Franco Law Firm, we feel confident in our ability to give you the best possible representation for any personal injury, social security, or workers’ compensation case in the state of Florida. Call today at (813) 872-0929 and schedule a free consultation so your case can have the best possible outcome.