Are Farmer and Agricultural Workers Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?
Yes, every farmworker in Ventura and across California is entitled to workers’ comp coverage, whether they are immigrants or seasonal workers. California law mandates that all employers provide workers’ compensation benefits, regardless of the number of workers involved. Unfortunately, only a few jurisdictions provide compensation benefits to farm employees who sustain workplace injuries. Luckily, California is one of these states.
Agricultural workers’ compensation insurance offers many basic benefits. It covers all workplace-related diseases and injuries, such as accidents with farm equipment, disabilities, slips and falls, physical pain, and respiratory illnesses. It also provides medical treatment, medications, physical therapy, surgery, and hospitalization coverage.
In addition, you can also receive partial payments for the time you’re unable to work. Workers’ compensation insurance also compensates employees who are permanently disabled. However, collecting these benefits as a farm worker can be a challenge. That’s why it’s a good idea to work with a Ventura workers’ comp lawyer to help with your compensation process.
Challenges of Getting Benefits
Despite farming and agricultural work being one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States, most employers do not have a workers’ compensation policy, even though it is a legal requirement in California. Luckily, the state allows workers to obtain benefits through the UEBTF (Uninsured Employer’s Benefit Trust Fund) program.
If you are injured while working and your employer doesn’t have insurance, you can apply for benefits from the Uninsured Employer’s Benefit Trust Fund. Then, the Division of Workers’ Compensation will then seek reimbursement from your employer.
California also has many undocumented workers, particularly in the farming sector. Even though undocumented immigrants are covered under the workers’ comp insurance, many don’t know their rights or fear that reporting the injuries will result in termination or deportation.
What are the Risks Associated with Working in the Farming & Agricultural Industry?
Working on a farm exposes you to the risks of injuries, disability, or even death. Generally, farm labor is considered one of the riskiest jobs in the U.S. According to the CDC, 416 deaths were recorded in 2017 due to job-related injuries. These farm injuries may include:
- Suffocation: Often occurs when workers are trapped in silos or grain bins.
- Sprains and strains: Farm work consists of a lot of bending, reaching, and lifting, which can result in sprains and strains.
- Heat stroke: Farmers and farm workers usually spend many hours in hot temperatures and rarely have enough time to take breaks or drink the recommended amount of water, which might lead to heat stroke.
- Crushed between objects: Crushing between agriculture machinery can cause serious injuries or death.
Get in Touch with a Ventura Workers’ Comp Lawyer
If your employer does not have insurance or cannot obtain benefits, contact the Limonjyan Law Group for help. Schedule a free consultation today to discuss your case with Ruben Limonjyan, a dedicated Ventura workers’ Comp Lawyer from Limonjyan Law Group.