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Do housekeepers get workers' compensation benefits?

Let's say you work in your family's home full time. Every week, you spend hours keeping the residence clean, cooking meals and taking care of the children on behalf of your parents, spouse or your child.

Essentially, you're a full-time domestic worker, but rather than working for a traditional business, you're working for your family. If you suffer an injury on the job, can you get workers' compensation benefits?

Who is ineligible for workers' compensation in California?

Although the California workers' compensation system covers the vast majority of employees, some workers cannot receive benefits through this valuable form of state-subsidized health insurance. Domestic servants employed by their family members are among the workers who cannot qualify for benefits.

Let's take a look at the list of California employees ineligible for workers' compensation:

-- Domestic employees working on behalf of their spouses, parents or children;

-- Individuals offering their services in exchange for only sustenance;

-- Referees and others officiating sporting events;

-- Sheriff's deputies;

-- Volunteers at recreational camps that are operating as not for profit; and

-- Ski patrol workers.

Aside from the workers that appear in the list above, California law states that you'll be eligible for workers' compensation benefits if you're working in the service of your employer under any contract of hire or apprenticeship -- either implied or expressed in writing or orally.

This rule applies to workers who are both unlawfully and lawfully employed. As such, if you're an undocumented immigrant, you may still be able to get workers' compensation benefits.

Check with an attorney to see if you're eligible for benefits

The above worker eligibility descriptions are general and may not clearly describe all situations. As such, you might still have a lot of questions about your workers' compensation eligibility. You can get answers to these questions by speaking with a qualified attorney.

A workers' compensation benefits attorney will review your hiring papers and the circumstances of your work-related injury to determine whether you may be eligible for benefits. Your attorney can also help you appropriately file your benefits application.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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