Who Is Eligible for Workers’ Comp Benefits in NC?

migrant workers in working in strawberry fields, who is eligible to receive workers comp benefits in NC?

Did you get hurt on the job in North Carolina? If so, you might have questions about your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ comp can cover your medical expenses and help you pay your bills while you’re too hurt to work. 

This article explores who is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in North Carolina.

Am I Eligible for Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina?

You must satisfy the four following requirements to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in North Carolina:

  1. You must be an employee. Only legal employees are eligible for workers’ compensation in North Carolina. Any regular employee could be eligible, including full-time, part-time, temporary, and undocumented employees. However, some exceptions exist, including certain railroad workers, casual workers, domestic service workers, laborers on smaller farms, agricultural retailers, and federal government employees. Independent contractors also do not count as employees, but employers cannot avoid their responsibility to cover employees by calling them independent contractors when they are actually employees.
  2. Your employer must carry workers’ comp coverage. North Carolina requires all employers with three or more regular employees to purchase workers’ comp insurance or qualify as self-insured. You can verify whether your employer provides workers’ comp coverage here.
  3. Your injury must be work-related. You can only claim workers’ comp benefits for work-related injuries or illnesses, meaning injuries or illnesses that occur while you are at work or engaged in work-related duties. If you got hurt while you were off the clock, commuting to work, or violating company policy, you might not be eligible for benefits.
  4. You must adhere to state reporting deadlines. You must notify your employer immediately after a workplace injury. If you fail to do so within 30 days of the incident, your employer or their insurer could deny your claim. 

What Injuries Are Covered Under Workers’ Comp?

If you are eligible for workers’ comp in North Carolina and follow all relevant filing requirements, you could obtain benefits for work-related injuries such as the following examples:

  • Slip-and-fall injuries
  • Trip-and-fall injuries
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • Overexertion injuries
  • Cuts, scrapes, and bruises
  • Burn injuries
  • Electric shock injuries
  • Traffic accident injuries
  • Soft tissue strains and sprains
  • Struck-by object injuries
  • Toxic exposure injuries
  • Inhalation injuries
  • Injuries from acts of violence

Statute of Limitations on North Carolina Workers’ Comp Claims

Under §97-58 of the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, you must file your workers’ compensation claim within two years of the date you suffered the relevant injury or illness. Exceptions apply for occupational injuries from exposure to asbestos, silica, lead, and radiation, but most workers must file within two years or risk having their claims thrown out. 

The NC workers’ compensation lawyers of Poisson, Poisson & Bower, PLLC, can help you determine how the statutory two-year deadline applies to your case and handle your claim as efficiently as possible.

 Contact Our NC Workers’ Comp Lawyers Today

If you have questions or wish to discuss your work injury case with a compassionate and attentive lawyer, reach out to Poisson, Poisson & Bower, PLLC, immediately. We can provide the answers you need and evaluate your case for free when you contact us for an initial consultation session.

In his forty-four years in the practice of law, Fred Poisson, Jr. has successfully handled over ten thousand cases in the areas of workers’ compensation and personal injury.