Workers' Compensation for Independent Contractors
Millions of Americans are making the shift from traditional employment to working as independent contractors. There are definite advantages to working as an independent contractor: you can often choose when and where you work, as well as how much you want to charge for each job you take. For employers, independent contractors are an attractive option. Rather than hiring a full-time employee, they can contract for the amount of services they need, for the time frame they need it, saving hours of pay as well as the money it would cost in employee benefits. While this type of employment may be an attractive option for some people, what happens toindependent contractors injured on the job? Are these workers still eligible for state workers’ compensation benefits? The answer depends on a number of factors.
Independent Contractors: The New Workforce
A substantial amount of the current U.S. workforce is currently working as freelancers, consultants, or independent contractors. An independent contractor provides goods or services to an employer through a contract or verbal agreement. This agreement will usually specify an exact amount or type of work performed, for a specific amount of time. It is estimated that over 42 million people currently work as independent contractors, and that number is expected to continue to rise. In fact, economists expect the amount of people working as independent contractors to become greater than people in the traditional work force by the year 2020.
What are some of thebenefits of working as an independent contractor?
- The ability to be your own boss
- Flexibility in terms of what jobs you take, and the ability to maintain a work/life balance
- The ability to make more money, if your skills are in high demand
- The option to work remotely
While there are definite advantages to being your own boss, there are also drawbacks. Thetax rate for an independent contractor is high, and you’ll be required to pay your own Social Security taxes, as well as provide your own benefits.
Independent Contractors Covered by Workers’ Compensation
If you are an independent contractor and are hurt on the job, there are several factors that will go into making the determination on whether you can get workers’ compensation benefits. According to the South Carolina Code of Laws, your eligibility is determined by your status as a worker. UnderS.C. Code Section 42-1-30, your status as an employee will depend on the following factors:
- Does the person you work for have direct control over the work you perform?
- Are you paid directly by this person?
- Does this person have the ability to actually fire you?
Making a determination as to employment status for workers’ compensation is a complicated matter. Before deciding you are not eligible, contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
Call Our Experienced South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
If you are an independent contractor and have been injured on the job, contact our experienced South Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys today. At Anastopoulo Law Firm we can help you determine if you are eligible for benefits such as medical expenses and lost wages. With offices in Charleston and throughout South Carolina, we’ll fight for your right to receive the benefits you need and deserve. Contact us today for a consultation.