Who qualifies for workers' compensation in Nebraska?

Workers' compensation provides benefits to those who have been hurt or suffer an illness due to their jobs. There is only one catch in Nebraska; if the employee was being willfully negligent, then workers' compensation may not be awarded. That means that you can't have intended to get hurt; if you tried to get hurt or were doing something against your company policy knowing that it could cause you harm, then you're less likely to get your claim approved.

The Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act applies to the governmental agencies created by the state of Nebraska and all employers with one or more employees. Almost all employees are covered by workers' compensation insurance, but there are exceptions. For instance, if you are an independent contractor, you will not be covered by workers' compensation since you aren't an employee of the business. Federal employees, volunteers and railroad employees also do not qualify for workers' compensation in most cases, because they have other options to pursue.

In some situations, those who are employees of agricultural operations or who are household domestic servants can receive workers' compensation. The employer must opt to provide it, but the employer is not required to do so. Agricultural employers do have to provide workers' compensation if they have more than 10 unrelated employees for 13 or more weeks per month.

If you work for an exempt employer, the employer must provide you with that information in writing, so you know that they do not have workers' compensation insurance. If you don't receive that information, get hurt and realize you can't make a claim, you may have to pursue other legal options.

Source: Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services, "Rights & Obligations under the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Law," accessed Dec. 15, 2016

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