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What Happens When You Are Injured On The Job And Are Self Employed?

Most people working a regular job have a lot of benefits that are not necessarily available to those that are working for themselves. They have Medicare and social security automatically withheld, and their employer also contributes. This is not the case for self employed people.

Then, there is the matter of getting injured on the job. Many people with traditional jobs are covered either by worker’s compensation or by some kind of disability insurance offered by the employer. Things are usually pretty straightforward when this happens at work for most people.

When you work for yourself you are on your own when it comes to disability, whether you are a physician or a welder. Physicians Thrive can give you more information about disability when you are a doctor.

In this article, I will go over what happens when you are injured on the job and can’t work when you are self employed.
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1. Worker’s Compensation

If you are self employed and have employees, you should have a worker’s compensation insurance policy for them and for yourself. Since you will be paying for it for your employees it makes sense to also have it for yourself in case you are injured.

What if you don’t have employees? If you work for yourself then you have to evaluate if it makes sense to have it. If you work in a home office, then you are not likely to get injured on the job. In this case, you probably won’t see any value in it.

If you work a physical job like a carpenter, welder or any other job that involves any kind of risk for a serious injury, then this is a good idea.

It covers you if you are injured on the job. It isn’t easy to buy private worker’s compensation insurance, however and it may not be cheap if you do find an insurance company that does offer it.
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2. Disability Insurance

Disability insurance is the same as you would have with an employer, if they offer it. The big difference is that you are paying for the entire cost yourself. Usually an employee of a company will only have to pay a portion of it.

This can get expensive, but the good part about paying yourself is that you decide which policy is best rather than have to take whatever the employer would pick for you if you were an employee.

Many times, the insurance is only going to cover a portion of your income and rarely the entire amount of the money lost to an injury. It also depends on how long you will be without work.

3. Health Insurance

In many states you are required to have health insurance including when you are self employed. If you have disability insurance that only covers some of your income and expenses, your health insurance may make up the difference.

Since you have to have it, and you are choosing the policy yourself, make sure to pick the coverage that will pay the most towards an injury from work and the medical expenses related to it.

Further Reading:
Government support for the self-employed  - Department of Labor guidance for self-employed people
JJS Justice - support when claiming after a work-related accident or injury. 
Here are some self-employment statistics.  How many Americans are really self-employed?
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