You may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in Colorado even if you were hurt while performing services on a volunteer basis. However, there may be several exceptions that you should be aware of before filing your claim. For example, an organization could classify you as an independent contractor even if you aren’t being compensated for your efforts. In such a scenario, you typically can’t file a claim regardless of the details of your case.
Are you classified as an independent contractor?
If you volunteer to coach a youth sports team, there is a chance that you’ll be classified as an independent contractor. However, state law requires that you sign a document agreeing to be classified as such before serving in this type of role. The document must clearly state that the organization that hired you isn’t liable for any losses that are incurred after experiencing a workplace injury.
Officials who don’t receive compensation may not be employees
In Colorado, governments have the right to declare that officials who are not compensated for their work will not be classified as employees. Therefore, if you’re hurt while serving your community, it’s possible that you won’t be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
You may be covered while participating in a job training program
As a general rule, you’ll be classified as an employee while taking part in any program that is designed to help you learn a new trade or skill. The same may be true if you are enrolled in courses that assist in the process of reintegrating into society.
If you’re hurt while performing services for a nonprofit group, corporate entity or government agency, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and lost wages. An attorney might be able to help you determine if you were classified as an employee at the time of your accident.