Under Age Eighteen and Injured at Work? What You Need to Know
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Under Age Eighteen and Injured at Work? What You Need to Know

If you are under age eighteen and get injured at your job, you need to understand your rights. Employers sometimes try to take advantage of younger workers, believing that the workers will not know any better. By educating yourself about workers’ compensation, you can make sure that you receive benefits that your need.

Your Employer Cannot Deny You Workers’ Compensation Because You Are a Minor

In Minnesota, all employees can receive workers’ compensation benefits, including minors. Anyone performing services for hire for someone else qualifies. This includes workers earning cash pay under the table, part-time workers, and even some specific types of volunteers.

Some employers may dodge their responsibility to help you get workers’ compensation. If you are paid cash or work part-time, they may tell you to use your parents’ health insurance and come back to work in a few days. But Minnesota law requires all employers, even those with only one part-time employee, to purchase workers’ compensation insurance or be self-insured.

You may not qualify for workers’ compensation if you own your own business or do only occasional work. For example, if you babysit for a few different families, you may be an independent contractor. Only employees, not contractors, can receive workers’ compensation. However, if you nanny on a set schedule at a pay rate set by the family, it is possible that you are an employee.

You Need to Report Your Injury

To receive benefits – including payment for medical treatment and wage loss benefits – you need to report your injury. Talk to your manager or the Human Resources department right after your injury happens, and explain that you need workers’ compensation. You should receive a “Claim Form” to fill out. Be honest in describing how the injury happened, even if you were breaking work policies or it was your fault.

Receiving Benefits

After you fill out the Claim Form and return it to your employer, the employer has to send it to its workers’ compensation insurance company. The insurance company has a few days to decide if it will grant you benefits. If it grants benefits, you will hear from the insurer and start getting checks for wage losses.

Insurers often take every opportunity to deny benefits. They do not want to pay money if they can claim that the injuries did not happen at work. If you initially receive a denial of benefits, talk to a workers’ compensation lawyer about how to challenge the denial.

Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.