Can Volunteers Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits? 

Volunteers offer their time and efforts to a cause or an organization without receiving any financial value from it. Volunteers do great work for great causes and rarely expect anything in return. But who protects volunteers if they get injured while working? Are volunteers eligible for workers’ comp insurance coverage? A Newport News workers’ comp lawyer can help answer any questions about workers’ comp, so schedule a consultation today. 

What is workers’ comp? 

Workers’ comp is a law or a system in place that is designed to provide compensation and benefits to workers that get injured on the job. This can be due to a workplace accident, getting injured or becoming ill due to the nature of your job, or even any injury sustained within work hours and/or company premises. The compensation a worker can receive varies and is typically based on their income at the time of injury and the severity of their injuries. 

What is a volunteer? 

As the name suggests, a volunteer is someone who voluntarily works for a company or cause and typically does not earn any money for their work. Volunteers carry out different kinds of work, varying from organization to organization. Some organizations may even pay their volunteers a nominal fee. 

However, depending on the state laws, volunteers can be considered employees if the organization provides any kind of payment or payment in kind (PIK). Different laws apply to employees and volunteers, so it is important to make a clear distinction. 

Are volunteers eligible for workers’ comp? 

Unfortunately, volunteers are not paid for their work, so they are not eligible for workers’ comp. There is a clear distinction in the statute between employees and volunteers; volunteers do not meet the qualifications for workers’ comp insurance coverage. 

However, depending on the state laws, certain public sector volunteers may be eligible for workers’ comp. The types of volunteers that may be eligible for workers’ comp are: 

  • Volunteer police 
  • Volunteer firefighters 
  • Any person assisting in police work upon request from the police 
  • Trial jurors 
  • Volunteers appointed for public schools 
  • Volunteers working with government entities 

Get professional legal help today. 

Whether you are eligible for workers’ comp or not, if you have been injured while working for a volunteer job, there are legal options to protect you. Contact an experienced lawyer today and get the professional legal help you deserve. 

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