Florida, more than any other state, is known for having a lot of seasonal workers. Unlike most other states, Florida’s tourist season takes place when it’s cold throughout the rest of the country. Our Tampa workers compensation attorneys meet with more Florida seasonal workers between November and April than any other time of year.
Are You Sure That You’re a Seasonal Worker?
One concern a lot of our clients have is that they will not receive workers compensation benefits because they are a seasonal employee. Not only do their friends and family tell them this, but sometimes their employer tells them this as well.
The truth is that seasonal workers are qualified to receive workers compensation benefits like anybody else. As long as you’re not an independent contractor, you will be treated like an ordinary employee.
Of course, your workers comp lawyer in Tampa will first have to prove that you meet the basic requirements for workers comp benefits.
The First Thing Your Tampa Workers Comp Attorney Must Do Is Determine Your Status
Before your Tampa workers comp attorney will reach out to the insurance carrier, they need to confirm your employment status. Regardless of how many hours you work per week, you will never be considered a full-time employee if you are a seasonal worker.
Being a seasonal worker has nothing to do with how many hours you work. It has to do with what time of year you work for the same company, and whether you work there on a short-term basis.
Just Because You Only Work a Few Months Out of the Year Is Not Determinative
Some people think that they’re automatically considered seasonal workers because they only work for their employer for two or three months. As long as you work for less than six months, there is nothing stopping you from being categorized as a seasonal employee.
As your workers comp lawyer in Tampa can explain, this is very important when it comes to your benefits. If you do indeed qualify as a seasonal employee, you will be eligible for workers comp.
As long as you suffered a workplace injury and meet the other criteria for workers compensation, there shouldn’t be a problem.
The Internal Revenue Service Is Very Clear About What a Seasonal Worker Is
According to the Internal Revenue Service, you must meet two requirements to call yourself a seasonal worker.
The first question you must ask yourself is whether you work for the same employer for less than six months every year. If the answer to this question is yes, you will then move on to the second question.
The second question you must ask yourself is whether you work for the company during the same month year after year. For example, if you work at an amusement park in Florida, you may work from October through March.
As long as you work the same months year after year, your workers comp lawyer in Tampa shouldn’t have a problem proving that you’re a seasonal worker.
Do You Work for the Company for Six Months Or Less?
As briefly stated above, you must also demonstrate that you work for less than six months a year. If you work more than six months, there is a good chance you’ll be classified as a full-time employee.
From your perspective, there’s nothing wrong with this. Not only would you then qualify for workers compensation benefits, but you may also qualify for other benefits through your employer.
From the company’s perspective, they do not want you categorized as a full-time employee. Once that happens, they are then required to pay additional costs associated with full-time staff.
Seasonal Workers Are Entitled to the Same Workers Compensation Benefits as Everybody Else
One thing your Tampa workers comp attorney can assure you of is that seasonal workers are eligible for workers compensation. If you get hurt on the job, you’ll be treated the exact same way as anybody else who works for the company.
It’s important to understand that this does not mean you’re automatically entitled to benefits. Your workers comp lawyer in Tampa must still prove that you meet the necessary criteria.
If you do qualify for workers compensation, your Tampa workers comp attorney will make sure you receive the benefits to which you’re entitled. These will be discussed in more detail below.
Your Medical Treatment Will Be Covered
Anybody who is approved for workers compensation will have their medical care covered through their employer. Any medical treatment that is related to your workplace accident will be covered by the insurance company.
You’ll Be Paid for Any Time Missed From Work
Anybody who qualifies for workers compensation will also be paid for time missed from work. In Florida, you must be out of work for more than seven days before you’re eligible for weekly benefits.
Once you are out for eight days, your replacement wages will kick in. If you are out of work for more than 21 calendar days, you will receive retroactive pay for the first seven days that you missed.
Don’t Wait Too Long to Speak With an Experienced Workers Comp Lawyer in Tampa
If you are a seasonal worker and get hurt on the job, you may be entitled to workers compensation benefits. The only way to know for sure is to meet with an experienced workers comp lawyer in Tampa.
We offer all new clients a free, initial consultation. This gives you the opportunity to sit down with a seasoned Tampa workers comp attorney who can review your claim. As long as you meet the basic requirements for workers compensation, there is no reason to think that you will not receive your benefits.
Since the initial consultation is free, you will want to take advantage of this opportunity. You don’t want to wait too long to schedule your appointment.