Are Independent Contractors Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?

Are Independent Contractors Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?As an independent contractor, you may be working hard to keep your business afloat. But what happens when you face an unexpected injury on the job? Are independent contractors eligible for workers’ compensation to help cover the cost of medical bills and lost wages?

Here’s what you need to know.

Difference between an IC and an Employee

First and foremost, it’s important to understand the difference between an employee and an independent contractor.

While employees work for an employer and are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured on the job, independent contractors work for themselves and are not considered employees. Therefore, they are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

However, some states provide workers’ compensation benefits to independent contractors in certain circumstances. There might also be exemptions for some contract workers.

For instance, in California, independent contractors who work in the construction industry may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if they meet specific criteria. Other states, including New Jersey, also provide some protections for independent contractors.

In general, for independent contractors to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, they must demonstrate that they were working under the direct control of the employer at the time of the injury. This can be challenging for independent contractors, as they typically have more control over their work than employees do.


Making things more challenging is the fact that many employers, either intentionally or unintentionally, misclassify workers. There are instances in which someone who qualifies as an employee is treated like an IC. If this is your situation, it can help to speak to a legal professional about what benefits you deserve.

Additionally, there are ways that independent contractors can protect themselves and their businesses in case of an injury on the job.

For instance, independent contractors can purchase their own workers’ compensation insurance policy to help cover the cost of medical bills and lost wages in case of an accident or injury. Moreover, independent contractors can include a clause in their contracts with clients that requires the client to provide workers’ compensation coverage for the duration of the contract.

Do You Need to Contact an Attorney?

Independent contractors must take steps to protect themselves. This might include purchasing their own workers’ compensation coverage. They might also negotiate their contracts with clients to include workers’ compensation coverage. By proactively addressing the issue of workers’ compensation, independent contractors can avoid costly medical bills and protect their businesses in case of an injury on the job.

Workers’ compensation covers most types of workplace injuries and illnesses. However, not everyone qualifies for coverage. Knowing whether or not you qualify and what financial support is available if you are unable to work is essential.

Working with a workers’ compensation attorney ensures you’re treated fairly and that you receive the benefits to which you’re entitled.

Do you want more information about workers’ compensation or to speak to someone about your workplace injury? Contact Livingston DiMarzio Brown, LLP at (973) 943-4961. is the website for the workers compensation attorneys firm of Livingston, DiMarzio LLP Our team of attorneys is made up of New Jersey Mesothelioma Lawyers, NJ Workers Comp Lawyers, Employment Lawyers and Certified New Jersey Worker’s Compensation Attorneys.