Are Volunteers Covered Under Workers’ Compensation?

Remove term: are volunteers covered under workers' compensation are volunteers covered under workers' compensation Volunteering is a great way to give back to society and support your community. Many people volunteer their time and skills to nonprofit organizations or community groups, but there is always a risk of getting hurt while performing volunteer work.

If you have been injured while volunteering, you may be wondering if you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

What is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a system of insurance providing benefits to injured or ill employees. They must be injured or made ill on the job. Some people think workers’ comp only applies to paid employees. However, the coverage can extend to volunteers as well.

In some states, nonprofits and other organizations must carry workers’ compensation coverage for their volunteers. Other states may have different laws regarding workers’ compensation and volunteers.

Maryland law recognizes that some volunteers are at risk of injury. As a result of injuries, they may need lost wage assistance while recovering from the injury. Benefits are often available, but there are some instances that workers comp for volunteers is non-existent. It’s important to speak to someone familiar with Maryland workers’ compensation coverage to determine if you’re eligible for benefits while volunteering.

Are Volunteers Eligible?

Whether volunteers are covered under workers’ compensation benefits usually comes down to the definition of “employee.”

Typically, individuals performing work for an organization, regardless of whether they’re paid or not, is an “employee” for workers’ compensation purposes. This means that injured volunteers may be eligible for the same workers’ compensation benefits.

You can ensure in advance that the organization or group for which you are working has workers’ compensation insurance that extends to volunteers. If the organization does not have this coverage, you may be out of luck. You may need to rely on your health insurance to cover your medical expenses.

If the organization is unsure or doesn’t know about coverage for volunteers, contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to explore your options.

One thing to keep in mind is that workers’ compensation benefits do not cover pain and suffering. You only receive benefits for medical expenses and lost wages due to the injury. It helps to contact a personal injury lawyer for help filing a claim. This is especially true if you need compensation beyond the limitations of the usual workers’ compensation system.

Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Again, if you’re unsure of what to do and need guidance, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney or personal injury lawyer will help set you in the right direction.

Volunteers can be covered under workers’ compensation benefits in most states. However, benefits depend on the state and the organization. If you’re injured while volunteering, it’s essential to confirm whether you are covered by your organization’s workers’ compensation insurance policy. You’ll also want to know what benefits it provides. If you’re not covered or have other questions about your situation, don’t hesitate to talk to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.

To speak to someone about injuries you sustained while on the job or if you’re ready to schedule a consultation to discuss your case, contact Shugarman & Mehring at (410) 783-4200 or toll-free at (888) 342-7200.

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