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Can You Qualify For Workers’ Comp If You’re Self-Employed in New York?

In the event of an accident at work, many employees are comforted to know that their employer will provide workers’ compensation coverage to help them recover. But if you’re a sole proprietor, contractor, or another type of freelancer, you may face completely different challenges. Having a policy may be optional, depending on your state’s laws. However, you may have to purchase one based on your industry, client contracts, and willingness to protect yourself from potential damages while at work.

What Is Classified As Self-Employed By Law?

According to the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance, you’re considered self-employed when you have a specific skill or trade and get paid directly by your clients. Some examples of people who are considered self-employed are:

  • Independent contractors
  • Freelancers offering services (writers, designers, artists, etc.)
  • Ride-sharing workers
  • Business Consultants
  • Temporary agency workers

Unlike W2 employees who report to their employer, self-employed individuals or contractors work for themselves. They’re responsible for communicating directly with clients and organizing their taxes independently at the end of each year.

When Should You Buy Workers’ Comp Insurance?

If you’re a sole proprietor in New York, the law does not require buying workers’ compensation insurance. However, there are few situations where getting one is recommended or even needed. You should purchase a workers’ comp insurance policy if:

You Work In A Dangerous Industry

If you work in a high-risk profession, you may run into dangerous situations more often. In these industries, self-employed workers will not automatically be covered by the same benefits as employees if they are injured on the job. Workers’ comp insurance is vital to providing guaranteed protection in a field where accidents are frequent.

You Need To Cover Your Business Costs While You Recover

An emergency can happen anytime, whether it is a long-term illness or a physical injury. As a business owner with several workers, you are confident that others will be there to help run the company while you’re gone. But if you’re self-employed, one accident can have severe consequences for your business. Workers’ compensation insurance is one of your few options to receive income while recovering from your injuries.

Your Contractor Requires It

Depending on the contractor, you may be required to have a workers’ comp policy and a certificate of insurance before you begin working with them. They mainly want you to have this policy to avoid liability for injuries while performing your duties. This requirement is especially true if you have a more accident-prone line of work.

How Much Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

A workers’ compensation insurance will heavily depend on which type you buy and the industry you’re in. Factors like your location will also be considered when determining your final rate.  For example, a construction worker’s insurance in New York can hover around $4 per $100 in payroll, while an office worker can average around 30 cents per $100.

Our Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Can Help You

It’s common for accidents to happen anywhere, but these unfortunate situations can be particularly challenging if you’re self-employed. Even if having workers’ compensation insurance is not required in New York, having one can be a significant source of protection for you during a workplace emergency.

If you’re self-employed and need help filing your workers’ comp claim, our team of professional workers’ compensation attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve. Please use our contact form or call us at 855-599-2141 to schedule a free trial consultation today. We serve Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, and more.

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