As An Independent Contractor How Do I Collect Workers’ Compensation?

As An Independent Contractor How Do I Collect Workers’ Compensation?

Independent ContractorIf you’re an independent contractor, one of your major concerns might be whether you can collect workers’ compensation or not. This guide will provide you with a comprehensive answer:

Workers’ Compensation in Illinois

In Illinois, independent contractors are not eligible for workers’ compensation. However, the criteria for a person to be called an independent contractor or an employee (employees are eligible for workers’ compensation in Illinois) are different under Illinois Workers’ Compensation law than in other states. Let’s find out what exactly is meant by independent contractors:

Defining Independent Contractors

Independent contractors are self-employed individuals or freelancers who are temporarily hired by companies to deliver specific tasks without joining them as employees. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a worker is only regarded as an independent contractor when the employer has the right to direct or control only the outcome of the work and not what work is being performed or how it’s being performed.


In the state of Illinois, there are numerous cases where legitimate employees are wrongly categorized as independent contractors in an attempt to deprive them of workers’ compensation benefits and thereby save significant amounts of money. When such workers get injured or disabled while performing the work they’ve been assigned, they should seek legal representation to claim their rights.


This means that even if you signed an independent contractor agreement and received 1099 income, you may still be considered an employee.

The Robertson vs. Industrial case is a clear example of how a trucker who was referred to as an independent contractor was entitled to workers’ compensation, according to the Illinois Supreme Court ruling.

When Are You Considered an Employee in Illinois?

If following cases, you’ll be considered an employee and are wrongly classified as an independent contractor:

  • The employer gave you a work schedule that you are bound to follow; you weren’t given the freedom to set your own hours
  • You are exclusively bound to the employer and can’t work for someone else
  • You’re provided with a uniform by your employer
  • You don’t use your own equipment or materials; your employer provides the tools to you
  • Your employer took taxes out of your paycheck
  • You were given specific instructions by your employer for how the job needs to be done; you were not allowed to follow your own approach

If your employer claims that you’re an independent contractor, but one or more of the points stated above holds true, you may be considered an employee that qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits under Illinois law.

See more on our Illinois Workers’ Compensation FAQs page.

Personal Injury Attorney

Hire a Top-Rated Illinois Workers’ Compensation Attorney

However, it can be a big challenge to prove that you’re an employee, not an independent contractor. An Antioch workers’ compensation lawyer can make life considerably easy for you. Hire Robert T. Edens, who has 20 years of experience in fighting for the rights of employees. His law firm has recovered millions of dollars for clients up till now.

Call today for a free consultation

(847) 395-2200