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Do You Have to Be on the Company’s Payroll to Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Can You Recover Workers’ Compensation if You Are Paid “Off the Books”?

New York City | Bronx | Brooklyn | Queens Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

It’s a common occurrence in the United States—working for someone without being on their payroll. In fact, some experts estimate that as much as $2 trillion in income goes unreported in the United States every year.

But what happens when you suffer an injury while working for someone “under the table”? Are you able to file a workers’ compensation claim?

To qualify for workers’ compensation in New York, you must meet two requirements—you must have been injured and the injury must have been sustained in the course of your employment. When you are working for a company and not on their payroll, a determination needs to be made—were you truly an independent contractor, or were you, for all intents and purposes, an employee. If you meet the test to be legally considered an independent contractor, you will typically be responsible for ensuring that you have workers’ compensation insurance to cover you in the case of injury. If, however, the Workers’ Compensation Board determines that you had many or all of the characteristics of an employee, you may be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits.

The Workers’ Compensation Board will typically look at a number of criteria to determine whether there was a valid independent contractor relationship, such as:

  • Where you physically work
  • How your time is managed—do you control it or does the company?
  • Who pays for your equipment and space
  • Whether there is a written agreement
  • Whether the company provides you with other benefits

Can You Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits if You Are Paid “Under the Table”?

Experienced NYC | Queens | Bronx | Brooklyn Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

At Pyrros & Serres LLP, we provide comprehensive counsel to people with workers’ compensation and Social Security disability claims in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and across the greater New York City metropolitan area. Because of our reputation for effective advocacy, many of our new clients come to us as referrals from clients and other lawyers.

To learn more about the full scope of our practice, see our practice area overview page.

Pyrros & Serres LLP

Queens | NYC | Brooklyn | Bronx Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

About The Author

Picture of Michael Serres, ESQ.

Michael Serres, ESQ.

Michael Serres, ESQ. is a reputed Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Astoria, Queens, NY. He graduated from St. John’s University School of Law in 1989. Mr. Serres was admitted to practice law in New York State in 1990 and is admitted in the Federal District Courts for the Southern and the Eastern Districts of New York. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Workers’ Compensation Bar Association and is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Queens County Bar Association.