Do Independent Contractors Need Workers’ Comp in Georgia?
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If you work as an independent contractor in Georgia, chances are you won’t be covered by a temporary employer’s Workers’ Compensation. Because of this, you might have to get your own policy if you want access to benefits.
Independent contractors are primarily people with set contracts with employers who can dictate their schedule and set their fee rates in Georgia. These people typically don’t get Workers’ Compensation from an employer but must find their own plans if they want coverage. If you hire subcontractors as an independent contractor, you might need to get Workers’ Compensation for them as well. Because independent contractors don’t have the financial support of a larger company, getting Workers’ Compensation can help them evade financial liability for injuries in case of a workplace accident.
To find a policy that meets your needs as an independent contractor, call the Georgia Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers at NPN Brokers today at (866) 340-9120.
How Are Independent Contractors Classified for Workers’ Comp in Georgia?
Georgia specifically defines independent contractors in its Workers’ Compensation code. While these workers can typically be identified if they are 1099 employees, that is not always true.
In O.C.G.A. § 34-9-2(e), Georgia defines an independent contractor as a person or entity that has a written contract with an employer to perform specific work during a specific period of time. For example, an independent contractor could be someone hired by a homeowner to do a renovation project or by a construction company to do intricate electrical work. There must be a contract, signed by both parties, outlining the project and identifying the worker as an independent contractor. Independent contractors also have control over the fees they charge and the schedule they follow to complete a job. Simply receiving a 1099 form is not always enough to establish yourself as an independent contractor in Georgia.
If you meet Georgia’s definition of an independent contractor, the person who hires you does not have to provide you with Workers’ Compensation benefits. If you don’t meet the definition of an independent contractor, you may be covered under a temporary employer’s policy, provided they have Workers’ Compensation in Georgia.
Are You Wrongly Classified as an Independent Contractor for Workers’ Compensation in Georgia?
Independent contractor is a term used colloquially, but, as mentioned, it has a defined meaning under Workers’ Compensation law in Georgia. Just because you call yourself an independent contractor doesn’t mean you legally are one.
If you refer to yourself as an independent contractor in Georgia, be sure you actually are. Workers’ Compensation laws might affect you differently if you are not a 1099 employee and instead work alone under a business formation, like a sole proprietorship. It is not uncommon for independent contractors to be wrongly classified as such.
For example, sole proprietors never need Workers’ Compensation in Georgia and can’t rely on anyone else to get it. Sole proprietors can opt into the Workers’ Compensation system if they choose and get coverage. If you’re unsure whether or not you’re an independent contractor according to Georgia law, reach out to the State Board of Workers’ Compensation for clarification.
Can Independent Contractors Get Workers’ Comp from an Employer in Georgia?
Only in very rare cases can an independent contractor get Workers’ Compensation from an employer in Georgia. Employers do not need to provide Workers’ Compensation coverage to independent contractors.
Sometimes, employers include independent contractors under their Workers’ Compensation plans, despite them not being regular or statutory employees. In some cases, an independent contractor might be considered a statutory employee, especially if no contract specifies an independent contractor’s responsibilities.
However, employers typically don’t provide Workers’ Compensation for independent contractors, as doing so is often not required by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation and can become expensive. If you are an independent contractor in Georgia, expect that a temporary employer’s insurance won’t cover you.
Can Independent Contractors Get Their Own Workers’ Comp Policies in Georgia?
You can get your own Workers’ Compensation policy if you work as an independent contractor in Georgia. However, you most likely won’t be required to by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation.
Georgia’s only insurance requirements are for companies with three or more employees. Because independent contractors typically work alone, they often do not need Workers’ Compensation coverage in Georgia.
That said, it is often beneficial for independent contractors to have a policy that protects them. Our Georgia Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers can find an affordable plan that provides benefits in case you are injured on the job. Because there is no insurance requirement for independent contractors and because employers typically don’t need to provide coverage for such workers, independent contractors may become personally liable for workplace injuries in Georgia. Having Workers’ Compensation protects you from that liability and allows you to file a claim for benefits after an accident in Georgia.
Do You Need to Get Workers’ Comp Insurance for Subcontractors as an Independent Contractor in Georgia?
If you hire subcontractors as an independent contractor in Georgia, your Workers’ Compensation liability might change. This generally depends on how many subcontractors you hire and whether or not they already have insurance.
Sometimes independent contractors hire subcontractors to help with a specific portion of a larger project in Georgia. When this happens, an independent contractor takes on the role of employer, which means responsibility for Workers’ Compensation might come into play.
Typically, independent contractors only need to get Workers’ Compensation for subcontractors if they don’t have it themselves. Subcontractors that come from larger subcontracting companies might already have Workers’ Compensation, especially if a subcontracting company has more than two employees. If you take on three or more subcontractors who are uncovered, they might be considered statutory employees of yours, meaning you have to provide coverage for them in Georgia.
Get Workers’ Comp for Independent Contractors in Georgia
Call NPN Brokers today at (866) 340-9120 to speak with our Georgia Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers.