How Long Do I Need to Be Employed in Order to Qualify For Workers’ Compensation Benefits?


Posted by: Chris

Employers often make new employees wait for a certain period of time before they are eligible for health insurance and other benefits. But, what about workers’ compensation benefits? How long does an employee need to be employed before he or she is eligible for these benefits?

Waiting Period For Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Unlike other benefits, there is no waiting period for workers’ compensation benefits. This means that employees are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits on their first day on the job. But, this only applies to employees who are actually covered by the workers’ compensation system. If you are not covered, you are not entitled to benefits regardless of how long you have worked for an employer.

Who is Entitled to Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

The vast majority of employees in the state of Oklahoma are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in the event of a workplace injury. However, it’s important to understand that there are some exceptions to this general rule.

The law specifically excludes federal employees and licensed real estate brokers and sales associates from the workers’ compensation system. If one of these employees is injured while on-the-job, they are not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

Independent contractors are also not covered by the workers’ compensation system since they are not technically employees. Another exception is any agricultural or horticultural worker who works for an employer with less than $100,000 in payroll within the last calendar year.

Employees that work in a family business can also be excluded. The law states that any person who works for a company owned by their family is excluded if the employer has five or fewer employees that are all related to the employer by blood or marriage. 

Even if an employee is covered by the workers’ compensation system, his injury may not be covered. For example, if an employee is injured while he is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, he cannot ask for workers’ compensation benefits. Injuries sustained while the employee was engaging in a social or recreational activity are also not covered.

As you can see, it’s not the length of your employment that determines your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits, but rather your field of work and the circumstances surrounding your injury.

If you are injured at work, seek legal representation from the experienced attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. at once. Let us guide you through the process of applying for benefits so we can secure the compensation you deserve as quickly as possible. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.