Skip to Content
Seasoned Sacramento Injury Attorneys

Who is Eligible to Receive Workers' Comp Benefits in California?

In the state of California, workers' compensation insurance is a requirement for all businesses that have employees. While this means that the vast majority of California workers are eligible for benefits should they be injured on the job, there are a few key exceptions. Our Sacramento workers’ compensation attorneys break down who is eligible to receive workers' comp benefits in California.

Workers’ Compensation is a Requirement for California Employers

If you are employed by a business located in California, you should be eligible to receive workers’ comp. According to the California Labor Code, any private or state entity that employs one or more individuals must have workers’ compensation insurance. If they fail to purchase such insurance, they can be convicted of a misdemeanor and even sent to jail.

Because this law is so all-encompassing, most workers can safely assume they will be able to claim workers’ comp benefits if hurt while performing their job duties. There are no exceptions for employees who work part-time or for seasonal workers. Even one’s immigration status does not affect their right to medical and wage benefits, so green card holders and even undocumented workers can claim workers’ comp when needed.

Who Is Exempt from Worker’ Comp in California?

Though there are very few exceptions to who is covered under California workers’ compensation law, it is important to know who can’t receive benefits. The California Labor Code defines who qualifies as an “employee” by the state and what types of positions are excluded.

By law, the following types of workers cannot claim benefits if injured while working:

  • Business owners and sole proprietors (unless they work in the roofing industry)
  • Deputy sheriffs and deputy clerks
  • Domestic workers who have a filial connection to their employers (parent, spouse, or child)
  • Independent contractors
  • People who work to receive some kind of aid (such as food, housing, etc.) rather than pay
  • Some volunteers, including volunteers at recreational camps and non-profit organizations
  • Students participating in amateur sporting events and amateur sports officials

There are several other very specific exclusions—the full breakdown of who is and isn’t covered can be found in California Labor Code

If you are unsure of your employment status, check with your employer. There have been cases of independent contractors being misclassified as employees, for instance. People who are self-employed are not required to purchase workers’ comp insurance for themselves, although this does mean they cannot receive coverage if injured.

If you have further questions, are unsure whether you are covered by workers’ comp, or believe your employment status has been misclassified by an employer, feel free to reach out to our Sacramento workers’ compensation attorneys. We can also assist you with filing a workers’ compensation claim or appealing a denied claim. Contact us now for more details.