Independent Contractors and Workers’ Compensation in Illinois

David Monteleone
Illinois Accident and Wrongful Death Lawyer

  Posted  |  Category : Workplace accident lawyer

workers' compensation in IllinoisWhile most employers in Illinois are required to obtain workers’ compensation insurance, these benefits are not available to everyone. Independent contractors, for example, aren’t eligible for workers’ compensation in Illinois, even when they are hurt on the job.

This does not mean, however, that someone who receives a 1099 income will automatically be barred from receiving benefits. This is because the question of who qualifies as an employee and who is categorized as an independent contractor is based on specific definitions in the state’s workers’ compensation law that are different than what we may be used to.

For help determining whether you qualify as an employee under state law and so could be entitled to benefits for your workplace injury, please call our dedicated Rockford, IL workplace accident lawyers today.

What is the Difference Between an Employee and an Independent Contractor?

As we mentioned earlier, whether or not a person can collect workers’ compensation after an accident depends on whether he or she is an employee or an independent contractor. Generally, we think of an independent contractor as someone who is self-employed or who is hired to perform a specific task without actually being taken on as an employee.

The definition of who qualifies as an independent contractor, however, is a bit more complicated under Illinois’ workers’ compensation law, which requires an assessment of how much control the employer has over the worker and his or her schedule. Generally, the more control an employer has, the more likely it is that the worker in question will be considered an employee if he or she is hurt on the job.

What Factors are Used to Determine Whether a Person is an Independent Contractor?

There are actually a number of factors that are used to determine whether a person is eligible for workers’ comp benefits as an employee. If, for instance, an employer took taxes out of the workers’ paychecks, then there’s a good chance that the injured party will be considered an employee for benefit purposes. Other factors that are used in these determinations include:

  • Whether the worker was exclusively bound to the employer
  • Whether the worker was supplied with a uniform by the employer
  • Whether the employer provided the worker with tools or materials
  • Whether the worker set his or her own hours or was required to abide by a specific schedule
  • Whether the employer provided the worker with specific instructions on how to complete the job

Under this definition, even someone who signed an independent contractor agreement, or who collects 1099 self-employment income, could actually be considered an employee for workers’ compensation purposes. If, on the other hand, a person was given the freedom to set his or her own hours, did not have taxes removed from his or her pay, and used all of his or her own equipment and materials, he or she will probably be barred from recovering workers’ compensation in Illinois.

Set Up a Free Consultation Today

If your employer is claiming that you are an independent contractor and is refusing to pay workers’ compensation benefits after your workplace injury, please call 815-962-0044 to speak with the dedicated workers’ comp lawyers in Rockford at Fisk & Monteleone Ltd. about your legal options.