Injured at your part-time job? Notify your employer and file a claim for benefits. There are some categories of workers that are not allowed to collect workers’ compensation benefits when they’re injured, but part-time workers are not among them. Part-timers get the same benefits as those who work full time – coverage of all medical expenses, payment for 2/3 of their lost income, and perhaps additional money depending on the injury.

If you have two jobs, you may be able to get 2/3 of your combined income from both if you are injured at one and can’t work at either as a result. The catch is that your employer at the job where you were injured must have known about your second job.

All workers, part time and full time, need to meet a couple of other criteria in order to get workers’ compensation benefits in Illinois. Your injury must happen at work while you are doing your job, you must notify your employer within the required 45 days and you must be an employee rather than an independent contractor, to name a few.

Independent contractors are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, although they have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit if their injury was caused by someone else’s negligence. Employees do not have this option – they must go through workers’ compensation in most cases. Whether you are an employee or an independent contractor is not necessarily up to your employer. Check with an attorney if you suspect you have been misclassified.

Figuring out what to do after a work injury can be confusing. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you sort it out fairly quickly. Don’t let anyone convince you that you can’t get benefits because you only work part time. Never take legal advice from friends or neighbors, even if they claim to have been in a similar situation. And certainly don’t listen to your employer. We aren’t saying they’ll purposely lie to you; it might just be wishful thinking if they say you aren’t eligible. Either way, their interests aren’t the same as yours. What’s more is that you need to look out for yourself. Deciding to not go after benefits can have lasting effects, especially if your injury is serious.