Does Your Employer Have Coverage?
You thought spending weeks in the hospital after an injury was the worst thing that could happen to you. But now that you find out your employer does not have workers’ compensation coverage, you realize that things are about to get even worse. How can you get payments for your injuries if your employer won’t provide the benefits you need?
What Is the Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund (UEBTF)?
If you work for an employer in California that does not offer workers' compensation benefits, you may seek payment for your injuries from the Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund (UEBTF). UEBTF is a state-run agency that pays for the costs of uninsured workers, and then seeks out the employer for reimbursement of its funds.
How Do I Get Payments from UEBTF?
Applying for UEBTF payments is a long and somewhat confusing process. First, you must file a claim for benefits with the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) to determine if you are owed compensation and what the proper amount should be. After you have done this, you must take two steps to make a UEBTF claim:
- You must provide the legal name and proper identification of your employer
- You must legally serve your employer with your workers’ compensation claim.
UEBTF is required to pay your benefits if your employer does not do so. However, unlike a private workers compensation insurance company, UEBTF has very little accountability. If the UEBTF arbitrarily decides not to provide workers compensation benefits, terminates your benefits, or delays your benefits payments, the WCAB cannot penalize them—leaving you back where you started.
It Is Illegal for California Employers Not to Carry Workers’ Compensation
There is another way you could seek and win compensation for your injuries. Under California law, all employers that have more than one employee are required to provide workers' compensation coverage. If they do not, they can be charged with a felony and face substantial penalties and fees.
For this reason, many employers would rather pay for a worker’s injuries than face the overwhelming costs of breaking the law—and that means there is a good chance you can get the benefits you deserve if you have a lawyer pressing your case.
Disclaimer: Please understand these discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. This testimonial, endorsement and/or discussion does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation and/or this particular case/ situation.