Which Minnesota Workers Are Ineligible for Workers’ Compensation?


Which Minnesota Workers Are Ineligible for Workers’ Compensation?

There are a few types of workers who are ineligible for workers’ compensation under Minnesota laws. While employees generally can receive benefits, they must have work-related injuries to get benefits. Some classifications of workers are not eligible too. You must “perform services for another for hire” to be considered an employee who can receive benefits. (Minn. Stat. § 176.011, subd. 9.)

Employees with Non-Work-Related Injuries

Injuries must arise out of and occur in the scope of employment with a Minnesota employer to be compensable. In other words, you cannot receive workers’ compensation for an injury that happened at home while you were off duty. However, some injuries during work travel or travelling to and from work sites could fall under workers’ comp.

Independent Contractors

True independent contractors who direct their own work and complete projects for pay cannot receive workers’ compensation from the businesses that pay them. Many workers who are actually employees get misclassified as independent contractors by businesses. A worker who can show that he has been misclassified can receive workers’ compensation, even if he was paid as a contractor and has the title of “contractor”.


Most types of volunteers cannot receive workers’ compensation benefits for injuries that happen during their volunteer time. Minnesota law provides for several exceptions, such as:

  • Emergency management volunteers
  • Non-emergency ambulance staff volunteers
  • Non-emergency law enforcement and first responder volunteers
  • Local social services program volunteers
  • Medical reserve corps volunteers

(Minn. Stat. § 176.011, subd. 9.) If you are volunteering in one of these areas, check with your coordinator to see if you will be covered in case of injury.

Family Farm Workers

Minnesota law does not allow workers’ compensation benefits for “farmers or members of their family who exchange work with other farmers in the same community”. (Minn. Stat. § 176.011, subd. 9a.) Farm workers who perform work on a farm that they do not own may be considered employees and thus be eligible for workers’ compensation.

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.