State law requires most employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, but that does not mean your employer will comply. If you suffer an injury and discover your employer lacks coverage, you can file a lawsuit.
Still, litigation can take time, so you may wonder what you will do in the meantime to handle the expenses that come with an injury. The California Department of Industrial Relations provides the option to submit a claim to the Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund.
The claim process
The UEBTF claims process is more complex than the one for workers’ compensation. You will need to work with workers’ compensation to file. The process starts with filing a normal workers’ compensation claim. You will need to show your employer does not have coverage, which results in a denial. You also need the adjudication of the claim that you will get from workers’ compensation. Once you have that form, you can apply to UEBTF.
The potential benefits
The UEBTF pays out benefits similar to workers’ compensation. It is like backup insurance to ensure workers do not miss out on rightful benefits. However, you will not receive anything until the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board makes a ruling.
The state will take steps to punish your employer for not securing the required coverage. You can also file a lawsuit to hold the employer accountable, even if you get UEBTF benefits, because the injury to you falls under a personal injury claim. Typically, securing workers’ compensation insurance protects employers from such lawsuits.