Can Independent Contractors Get Workers’ Comp Benefits in SC?

Workers’ compensation laws in South Carolina provide protection for workers who are hurt on the job. To be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits under these laws, you typically must be an employee.

Not everyone who gets hurt at work is considered an employee. Companies routinely hire workers as independent contractors. These independent contractors get injured while doing work tasks, just as employees do. When a worker considered an independent contractor gets hurt, this can create a much more complicated situation.

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At Joye Law Firm, our attorneys know the rules on when South Carolina law allows independent contractors to get benefits. As one of our attorneys explains in this video, the answer to this question is, yes, sometimes an independent contractor may be entitled to workers’ compensation.

You should talk to a lawyer about your specific case to learn whether you can make a claim. Call Joye Law Firm now for a free claim review.

Independent Contractors and Workers’ Compensation

Employers are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance only for employees, not for independent contractors. Someone who is truly an independent contractor cannot make a claim through the workers’ compensation system after getting hurt on the job.

The South Carolina Supreme Court, however, has said that there are situations where someone that an employer calls an “independent contractor” may be eligible for workers’ comp benefits. This is because employers sometimes call a person an independent contractor when that person is really an employee.

Employers don’t get to decide whether someone is an employee or an independent contractor. The state, the federal government and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have a set of criteria that determine what a worker’s actual role is.

If your employer says you are an independent contractor but you actually should be considered an employee under the law, you may make a workers’ comp claim for your injury in South Carolina.

Some of the factors that are important in determining whether someone is an employee or an independent contractor include whether your employer:

  • Pays you directly
  • Can fire you
  • Provides equipment
  • Directs or orders you to perform your job a certain way
  • Has control over how your work is done

If the answer to some or all of these questions is “yes,” then you may be an employee and can make a workers’ comp claim even if your employer has labeled you as an independent contractor.

The determination of whether an “independent contractor” can get workers’ compensation benefits is complex. Contact a lawyer at Joye Law Firm today for a free evaluation of your situation.

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