When workers are injured on the job, whether it is a worker’s first day of work or their two thousandth day of work, so long as the worker is an eligible employee and the employer has provided the injured worker with workers’ compensation insurance coverage, an injured worker may be eligible to seek workers’ compensation for their work-related injury or illness.
Requirements For Workers’ Compensation Eligibility
In order for injured workers to be eligible for workers’ compensation, a few basic requirements must be satisfied, none of which are related to the injured worker’s length of employment prior to seeking benefits.
- Worker must be an eligible employee. Full-time, part-time and most seasonal employees, are typically eligible for workers’ compensation. Conversely, certain workers are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. A few examples of workers that are ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits include those who are independent contractors, and some domestic workers.
- Employer must have workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Private employers are not required to provide employees with workers’ compensation insurance coverage in Texas. However, if an employer does have workers’ compensation insurance coverage, all employees are covered by the insurance policy and the employer is required to notify the workers that they are covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
- Injury or illness must be work-related. The injury or illness suffered by the injured worker must be work-related, meaning that the injury was sustained while on the clock, and the injury or illness must be from activities that are related to the worker’s job duties. The injured worker’s injuries or illness does not necessarily have to occur on the work premises in order to be eligible for a workers’ compensation claim.
- Filing a claim within the statute of limitations. Injured workers must file a workers’ compensation claim within the statute of limitations, which is a limited window of time in which the claim must be filed by law, or the injured worker loses the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits based on that work-related injury or illness. The statute of limitations for a workers’ compensation claim in Texas is one year from the date of the injury or one year from the date that the worker knew or should have known that their illness was work related. Similarly, a death benefits claim based on a death resulting from a work-related injury or illness must be filed within one year from the date that the death occurred.