If you are an employer it is illegal to not have workers compensation insurance. It does not matter if you have one employee or if you have 1,000 employees. Workers Compensation is a requirement for employers of all sizes and types.
When you get injured on the job, you report your injury to your employer and they provide you with a DWC-1 claim form. After you fill out the claim form with your information and the description of how your injury occurred, the employer gives that claim form to their workers compensation insurance carrier and they create a claim number for you. They then send you for medical treatment within their Medical Provider Network (“MPN”).
However, there is an alarming percentage of employers that do not have workers compensation coverage. A lot of times, employees report their injuries and are then informed that there is no workers compensation coverage. You can still file a claim with the Workers Compensation Appeals Board for workers compensation against your illegally uninsured employer.
You can choose to keep the case just against your employer or you can join the Uninsured Employer Benefits Trust Fund (“UEBTF”) into the case. UEBTF is a fund that has been set aside by the State of California so that injured workers without workers compensation insurance coverage can recover for their permanent disability and requirement for future medical attention.
In order to join UEBTF into the case, you have to file a case with the Workers Compensation Appeals Board against your employer. After you have done so, you serve your employer with a Special Notice of Lawsuit. After doing that, you prepare a petition to the Workers Compensation Judge to join UEBTF into the case. When UEBTF is joined, you will deal directly with them and may receive compensation from them just as if they were representatives of the workers compensation insurance.
After you receive payment from the UEBTF, they will go after your employer in civil court for the money that you paid you. In the end, you will receive the compensation that you deserve whether your employer has workers compensation insurance or not.